Support Efficiency Opportunities Around the World

Business and government leaders around the world are recognizing the power of energy efficiency to save money and fight climate change. Working in places like China, India, and Latin America, NRDC is helping to maximize energy efficiency around the globe. Building on our decades of experience spearheading efficiency gains in the United States, we collaborate with local partners to shape policies and set standards that cut costs, reduce pollution, and improve performance.

Rooftop photovoltaic solar array in Queretaro, Mexico Ignacio Evangelista/Offset

China is the world’s largest consumer of energy, and much of it comes from dirty coal-fired power plants. We work at the provincial and national levels to tap the country's enormous energy-efficiency potential. Our experts, for example, helped officials in the Jiangsu Province develop the first "efficiency power plant" by investing in efficiency measures at industrial facilities, such as replacing factory machinery with those that use less energy to produce the same or higher output. The Jiangsu program saved so much energy and money that other Chinese cities and provinces initiated similar efforts, and we continue to bring both innovative concepts and tried-and-true methods for reducing energy use in China. NRDC also provides training and hands-on assistance to policymakers, utilities, and industry experts to help strengthen the local capacity for achieving the country’s energy-efficiency goals.

NRDC’s Clean by Design program has identified cost-effective strategies that are helping textile factories, including mills in China and Bangladesh, save energy. We are now working with other sectors, such as airlines and dry cleaners, developing guidelines that are readily accessible to small and medium companies. We encourage them to perform energy audits, invest in new machinery, and measure and improve efficiency year after year.

All countries can reap the rewards of greater efficiency, but India has a unique opportunity: It's growing so fast that roughly two-thirds of the buildings that will exist in the country by 2030 have not yet been built. NRDC is collaborating with the nation's government ministries, business leaders, and research institutions to design policies that encourage developers to incorporate efficient windows, lighting, heating, and air conditioning right from the start of construction. In the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, NRDC worked with local partners as well as state and city governments to develop and enact comprehensive laws on commercial building energy-efficiency codes.

According to an analysis by NRDC and the Administrative Staff College of India, stronger building-efficiency codes and rating programs could save as much energy by 2030 as is needed to power 358 million homes in India annually. NRDC has already helped enact comprehensive new codes in the fast-growing states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which can reduce energy use in commercial buildings by as much as 60 percent.

In Latin America, NRDC has collaborated with Chilean and U.S. experts to identify ways that the country can overcome barriers to energy efficiency, providing technical assistance on the nation's efficiency laws. We advise officials on how to decouple utility revenues from sales, offer incentives for voluntary efficiency programs, and design efficiency frameworks for large industrial consumers.

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