What happens when low-carbon electricity supply technologies are deployed alongside energy efficiency technologies? The International Resource Panel's assessment looks at the impacts and benefits for people and the environment.

    Did you know?

    Low-carbon energy technologies could avoid 17 million tonnes per year of particulate matter.

    Did you know?

    More than 200 billion cubic metres of water could be saved by low-carbon energy technologies.

    Did you know?

    By 2050, low-carbon energy technologies will need 600 million tonnes of metal resources for infrastructure and wiring.

    The report

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      This report, the first international assessment of this type, investigates the life-cycle environmental and natural resource implications of large-scale deployment of energy efficiency technologies. The report examines more than 30 demand-side energy efficiency technologies across different technological clusters, including lighting, buildings, information and communication technology, efficient metals processing, high-efficiency co-generation, and transportation. In addition, the combined effects of low-carbon energy supply and deployment of efficient demand-side technologies under the 2 degree and 6 degree Celsius scenarios are assessed.

      Research confirms that demand-side technologies reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as many other environmental impacts. However, the magnitude of those improvements varies widely among technologies and regions. In some cases, demand-side technologies  may increase resource consumption and even greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is crucial to understand where, when, and with which technology investment should be placed to maximize benefits.

      • IRP (2017): Green Technology Choices: The Environmental and Resource Implications of Low-Carbon Technologies. Suh, S., Bergesen, J., Gibon, T. J., Hertwich, E., Taptich M. A report of the International Resource Panel. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.

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