The Role and Importance of Energy Efﬁciency
for Sustainable Development of the Countries
Serap Pelin Türkoğlu
and Pınar Sezin Öztürk Kardoğan
Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and
Administrative Sciences, Giresun University, Giresun, Turkey
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Gazi University,
Abstract. Energy, which is needed for every aspect of life, plays a key role for
the development of the countries. Countries need to use energy efﬁciently to be
advantageous in the global competition and ensure the sustainable development.
Countries using the energy efﬁciently succeed economically and have leading
the ﬁeld in the competition. The purpose of this study is to put forward to the
role and importance of energy efﬁciency for the sustainable development of the
countries. In this study, energy efﬁciency has been examined conceptually
considering the studies in the literature and the role and importance of energy
efﬁciency has been emphasized for the sustainable development of the countries.
Keywords: Energy Efﬁciency Sustainable development
Energy has been an important element for human development and economic growth.
Providing sufﬁcient and affordable energy is required to increase human welfare and
living standards. Energy should be considered as an important factor in terms of
economic development; since the energy is used as an input in most of the production
processes. Energy consumption increases in parallel with economic growth and
development. In this way, energy need should be met sufﬁciently and economically.
In the last 50 years, there have been important developments. Living standards
have increased and people have been living longer and healthier. Science and tech-
nology increased welfare of society considerably. Energy resources of Middle East,
which are abundant and cheap, have especially contributed to these developments.
Sufﬁcient global energy resources have importance both for the world and the countries
individually in terms of sustainable development, running of the economy and welfare
of the society. Thus, consistent use of energy is going to be possible and the energy will
be secured .
Industrialised countries have been using the energy more efﬁciently since 1973.
Following the oil shock of the 1970s, these countries have made policies to increase
energy efﬁciency in all the sectors of their economies. These policies have contributed
to the decrease in the energy intensity. In addition to that, most of the industrialised
© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018
S. Fırat et al. (eds.), Proceedings of 3rd International Sustainable
Buildings Symposium (ISBS 2017), Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering 7,
countries have intensiﬁed their energy efﬁciency works as a part of their own strategies
in order to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions .
In the second part of this study, energy efﬁciency has been discussed conceptually.
In the third part, the role and importance of energy efﬁciency in the sustainable
development have been explained. In the conclusion part, the study has been
2 Conceptual Framework of Energy Efﬁciency
Energy is one of the primary elements which are needed for social and economic
development. Energy is a means to achieve the goals such as health, high level of living
standards, sustainable economy and a clean environment .
Energy resources of the countries are one of the main factors indicating their
development and leadership position in the rivalry. Therefore, efﬁcient use of energy
becomes more of an issue for the countries. Energy efﬁciency is identiﬁed as the
efﬁciency scaling the relation between energy inputs and outputs by means of com-
Patterson  explained that energy efﬁciency means obtaining the same product
and service using less energy. Galvin  identiﬁed energy efﬁciency with the help of
monetary and physical indicators. According to Galvin , the ratio between energy
input and energy output as monetary value is considered as monetary indicators.
Energy input per gross domestic product is an example of this. The ratio between
energy input and physical output states physical indicators. Amount of aluminium that
is produced or how many kilometres you drive your car in the highway is an example
of physical indicators.
Ganda and Ngwakwe  states that energy efﬁciency means the policies, tech-
nologies and strategies to solve the problems of residential, commercial and national
energy use reducing the ﬁnancial cost and minimizing greenhouse gas emission which
causes global warming.
During the oil shock of 1973, measuring the energy efﬁciency has been an
important part of the energy strategy, especially for those lacking energy. With sharp
increase in the world oil prices, many countries have been aware of the need for the
understanding of the methods for efﬁcient energy consumption and increasing the
energy efﬁciency. As from late 1980s, because of the increasing worries about the fact
that fossil fuels cause global warming, improving the energy efﬁciency in order to
reduce greenhouse gas emission has been an important issue for the countries .
Countries need to follow various policies on the basis of sector in order to improve
their energy efﬁciencies. Policies of some sector are as follow :
•New buildings can be 70% more efﬁcient using insulated windows, modern gas
furnaces and more efﬁcient air conditioners. It is possible to save energy with the
help of localized heating, heat pumps and solar energy. With advanced lighting
system, it is possible to save cost at a rate between 30 and 60%.
•When it comes to residences, there have been improvements in fridges, water
heaters and dish washers. It is possible to make energy savings with the techno-
logical improvements in this ﬁeld.
54 S.P. Türkoğlu and P.S.Ö. Kardoğan
•Energy demand in the industry and CO
emission can be halted improving the
efﬁciencies of engines, pumps and boilers and heating systems, energy recovery in
the process of production, recycling the material that is used and using the materials
•In the transportation sector, efﬁciency of the gasoline-powered and diesel-powered
vehicles can be improved with turbine turbocharger, fuel injection, improved
electronic methods, more compact engines, hybrid cars and advanced diesel
3 Ensuring Sustainable Development for the Countries
via Using Energy Efﬁciently
Sustainable development, according to the deﬁnition of United Nations World Com-
mission on Environment and Development in 1987, has been stated as meeting the
needs of today’s society not jeopardizing the needs of the future generations .
Sustainable development is a general term which identiﬁes the development of coun-
tries considering economic, social and environmental factors. Efﬁcient energy use has
some economic, social and environmental aspects. Therefore, energy efﬁciency has an
important role for ensuring sustainable development.
It is a need for the sustainable developments of the countries to obtain the energy
resources easily and at a reasonable cost in the long term. To ensure sustainable
development, countries need to use energy with maximum beneﬁt and minimum
environmental damage .
Energy need has been increased worldwide with high population growth rate,
technological developments and increasing living standards. Limited reserves and
increasing prices of the fossil resources have leaded the countries to take measures in
order to protect themselves from a possible energy crisis. Energy sector provides input
for the other sectors of the economy. For this reason, stable and consistent energy
policy is a must for sustainable development .
Because of the worries about high energy prices, global warming and sustainable
development, energy efﬁciency has been an important of the energy strategy in many
countries. Increasing the energy efﬁciency is the cheapest, fastest and the most
environmental-friendly way of meeting an important part of energy need. Improved
energy efﬁciency reduces the need for investment in the energy demand .
Increasing the energy sufﬁciency is important from various policy perspectives.
Saving from the energy obtained from the fossil fuels is an important target for the
countries to prevent the running out of fossil fuels in the near future. Improvement of the
energy efﬁciency is also going to increase energy security of the countries. Especially,
reduction of the energy use is a must to prevent the worsening of the environmental
quality. Minimizing the costs is another aim to ensure energy efﬁciency. In terms of cost
efﬁciency, it is important to reduce energy use in the period of high energy prices and
use other inputs instead of energy at the same time .
Energy is crucial for the countries to ensure their sustainable development. Some of
the policy measures to support sustainable development are as follows [6,8,11]:
The Role and Importance of Energy Efﬁciency for Sustainable …55
•Increasing the energy efﬁciency in the industry, construction and transportation
•Reducing the use less efﬁcient coal-ﬁred power plants and forbidding their
•Increasing the investment to the renewable energy,
•Phasing out the subventions in the consumption of the fossil fuels,
•Reducing the methane emission in the production of oil and gas,
•Distributing sufﬁcient and reasonable priced energy resources to the regions where
there is no energy service,
•Encouraging energy efﬁciency,
•Providing widely use of advance energy technologies,
•Placing importance on activities of research and development on improving new
and advanced energy technologies,
•Encouraging the use environment friendly energy resources such as renewable
•Empowering the regulations on energy,
•Reﬂecting the environmental cost of energy use and consumption to the energy,
prices as much as it is possible and necessary,
•Contribution of the free and open trade to the energy market and security,
•Ability of the energy systems to response to the urgent situations in quick and
•Improving international cooperation and connections.
If today’s demographic, economic, social and technological trends aren’t strong and
balanced by new government policies, there are signiﬁcant difﬁculties in the long-term
sustainability of the global energy system. Developments in energy saving in OECD
countries accelerated with increases in energy prices in the 1970s . OECD countries
have taken an important step in energy conservation and environmental issues with the
policies they apply in the energy ﬁeld. Energy policies for OECD countries may differ
Energy efﬁciency policies in Turkey increase energy security to beneﬁt from
growing economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Turkey has established a
comprehensive, strategic and legal framework to promote energy efﬁciency. The
energy efﬁciency law in Turkey has a wide coverage area, including related regulations.
These areas include: increasing and supporting energy efﬁciency, setting up energy
efﬁciency consulting companies, establishing energy management systems, promoting
energy efﬁciency investments, increasing energy efﬁciency in transport and buildings,
preventing the sale of inefﬁcient devices and raising awareness.
Luxembourg implemented energy performance regulations in 2008 for residential
buildings and in 2011 for non-residential buildings. These regulations establish a
methodology to calculate energy performance of buildings, to determine minimum
energy requirements for new buildings, extensions and renewed elements of existing
buildings. Luxembourg is promoting the energy efﬁciency of buildings with the
introduction of energy performance certiﬁcates.
New Zealand’s“Smart Warming Program”aims to increase the number of hot, dry
and energy-efﬁcient homes to protect patient health and prevent loss of productivity.
56 S.P. Türkoğlu and P.S.Ö. Kardoğan
The ﬁrst “New Zealand Energy Strategy”and the second 5-year “New Zealand Energy
Efﬁciency and Conservation Strategy”were published in October 2007. However, after
the National Party government was elected in 2008, both of these documents were
audited. The purpose of doing this is to present a clearer link between energy policies
and economic growth.
The program of energy saving targets for energy suppliers is a central component of
Ireland’s energy efﬁciency policy. The ﬁrst “National Energy Efﬁciency Action Plan”
identiﬁed potential energy saving programs targeting energy suppliers in 2009.
The “Green Deal”initiated in the United Kingdom in January 2013 is the program
of the British government to help increase energy efﬁciency in homes and businesses.
This program saves on energy bills and makes improvements on the cost side possible.
“Electricity Market Reform”is the most important and radical change for the UK
electricity market. This reform includes regulations that make low carbon production
investments attractive and provide safe, affordable electricity supply for the UK.
Norway supports the increase of oil production in order to achieve long-term goals
in energy ﬁeld. It also uses oil and gas in a proﬁtable way, the management of energy
resources is based on comprehensive knowledge and facts, and the energy management
framework is designed to be sensitive to health, safety and environmental issues.
USA is consistently publishing the “Climate Action Plan”to reduce national and
international greenhouse gas emissions. There are three main pillars of this plan: to reduce
carbon pollution in USA, to prepare USA for the effects of climate change, and to pioneer
the international struggle to combat global climate change and prepare for the effects of
climate change. The plan is designed to reduce emissions by 17% below the 2005 level by
2020. In addition, USA regularly updates national and international reports.
Sweden is working to build a vehicle ﬂeet that does not use fossil fuels until 2030,
and the energy is taxed at a high rate. The Swedish tax system supports the purchase of
environmentally friendly vehicles through tax exemption during the ﬁrst 5 years. This
incentive is reinforced by an extra subsidy for “super environmentally friendly”cars
that emit less than 50 g of CO
per kilometer of hybrid and electric vehicles. To
promote alternative fuels in Sweden, high-mix renewable fuel mixture into gasoline
and motor is subject to full tax exemption.
Canada is defeating procedures to regulate projects for the development of natural
resources. In 1997, Canada created a building law that sets new buildings and sets a
minimum level for energy performance in their design. “The Canadian National Energy
Law for Buildings”, which assessed the minimum energy performance level of
buildings over three ﬂoors in 2011, entered into force. This law covers heating,
ventilation, air conditioning, water heating, lighting, electric power motor systems and
equipments for buildings.
Japan is working to improve energy efﬁciency through its energy efﬁcient econ-
omy. The Japanese government has laid down the law on the rational use of energy in
May 2013. The ﬁrst step in this regulation is to improve the thermal insulation per-
formance of homes and buildings. In this context, the use of energy-saving isolators
and windows is helping to reduce the energy consumption associated with air condi-
tioning and water heating. In the second step of the scheme, the introduction of
technologies such as smart meters, energy management systems and accumulators are
encouraged to reduce energy demand.
The Role and Importance of Energy Efﬁciency for Sustainable …57
Italy is eyeing the natural gas market mechanisms and infrastructure to keep rising
gas prices under control. In Italy, research projects based on the system approach of
interest to the national electricity system and applied research are being developed.
These activities aim to improve the performance of the system in terms of economy,
security and environment and to renew.
In South Korea, in 2008, the government enacted the “Basic Energy Law”in the
formulation and implementation of a national energy plan for every 5 years for a period
of 20 years. The goals of each plan are to: to promote the direction of future energy
policies, to identify medium and long-term strategies for safe energy sources, to expand
infrastructure to provide domestic energy, and to rationalize the use of energy for the
development of the national economy.
France intends to bring innovative energy projects to the market with its research
programs. Since 2010, the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management
has been responsible for investment programs for low carbon vehicles, intelligent
network projects, supporting the testing of renewable energies and green chemistry in
real conditions and demonstration premises. These programs are new tools designed to
support innovative green projects.
In agreement with the government in line with a framework established by Den-
mark, energy organizations are helping to provide cost-effective energy savings
throughout the economy. In 2020, 50% of electricity consumption from wind power is
one of Denmark’s energy policy objectives. Renewable energy conversion by 2050 is
the long-term goal of Denmark’s full conversion.
The use of hydropower as a renewable energy source is crucial for Austria’s
electricity generation. The use of hydroelectric power in Austria contributes to the
provision of energy security and to the independence of electricity supply. With about
70% of the electricity generated from renewable energy sources, Austria is the country
with the highest share in the European Union.
Approximately 80% of Australia’s total energy consumption is generated by the
industry. The Government’s“Energy Efﬁciency Opportunities Program”aims to make
the industry more energy efﬁcient. The participating enterprises in this program receive
ﬁnancial assistance of approximately 800 million Australian dollars per year.
The Czech Republic is updating its energy strategy, especially considering the
declining production of lignite. The Czech Republic’s energy policy aims to facilitate
the transformation of the Czech energy sector in order to produce sufﬁcient electricity
and cost effectively meet the high supply standards.
In 2008, the government approved an “Energy Efﬁciency Action Plan”aimed at
reducing the use of fossil fuels by 20% by 2020 and growing electricity demand by 5%
between 2010 and 2020 in Switzerland. In addition, the Swiss government ﬁnances
R&D at energy efﬁciency and promotes professional energy efﬁciency training as well
In Portugal, the “Energy Efﬁciency Program in Public Administration”is intended
to encourage efﬁciency in the public sector’s energy use, which is mandatory for the
central government and is optional for municipalities. Portugal improves the security of
natural gas supply with major investments (including the construction of a new
interconnection pipeline with Spain, increased underground storage capacity at Carriço,
and expansion of capacity at the Sines LNG Terminal).
58 S.P. Türkoğlu and P.S.Ö. Kardoğan
Energy security is one of the main features of the Polish energy policy. An
important aspect of Poland’s energy security policy is the diversiﬁcation of fuel and
technology. The government supports the development of clean technologies and the
production of coal-based liquid and gaseous fuels. Poland is striving to reduce its
energy dependence on Russia and diversify its energy sources. Poland is focused on
maximizing the use of existing domestic energy resources.
Spain supplies a large amount of electricity from renewable sources. Until 2020,
about 40% of the electricity consumed in Spain will be from renewable sources. In the
ﬁrst half of 2013, about 48% of the electricity demand was supplied from renewable
Germany is increasing its knowledge and awareness in this area by issuing annual
reports on energy politics. Germany’s energy targets include reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by 40% by 2020, at least 80% by 2050, and reducing primary energy con-
sumption by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2050. In Germany, the share of renewable energy
sources in energy consumption will increase by 30% by 2030 and by 60% by 2050.
According to the OECD , if governments fail to implement their policy in the
framework between the present and 2030, the following situations will be the case:
•Energy consumption will increase by 53%,
emissions related to energy will increase by 55%,
•The poor peoples of the world will continue to lack access to electricity, modern
cooking and heating services.
Considering that energy is a limited resource, it is important for countries to use the
minimum level and to obtain maximum economic output from the energy used. When
this process takes place, minimizing the harm to the people and the environment is also
considered as a matter to be paid attention to. Increasing energy efﬁciency for countries
leads to reduced environmental pollution and increased competition.
Today, the local, regional and global negative effects of the traditional energy
production and consumption technologies on the people, environment and natural
resources have come to a serious state. In order to ensure the sustainable development
and protect natural balance, it is vital to provide energy from consistent, safe, cheap,
clean, good quality and domestic energy resources and use it efﬁciently .
It is important to monitor eco-friendly energy efﬁciency policies for the economic
development and progress of countries. Sustainable economic development based on
energy efﬁciency should form the basis of energy policies of countries. If countries
increase their economic activities by improving their environmental performance, they
can reach a good level of energy efﬁciency. As long as the balance between economic
growth and energy consumption is balanced, the energy efﬁciency of countries will
Energy efﬁciency has become important for the countries to provide sustainable
development. Especially for reducing CO
emission and effects of the climate change,
energy efﬁciency has a key role for the energy efﬁciency.
The Role and Importance of Energy Efﬁciency for Sustainable …59
Countries should know that they will not be able to succeed in rivalry and sus-
tainable development without being aware of the comprehending the efﬁcient use of
energy. This study casts light upon the future studies in the ﬁeld of energy efﬁciency for
the countries to ensure sustainable development explaining the role of energy
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