Accounting for 37 per cent of global final energy consumption in 2014, the worldwide industrial sector consumes more energy than any other end-use sector, with China and India having the largest shares in that consumption. Energy is needed for a number of technologies and industrial processes. Nevertheless, the resulting greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through the application of different energy and material efficiency measures, thereby offering great energy and cost saving potential. Despite the high potential for industrial energy efficiency, there are a number of barriers that often impede investments in energy efficiency measures. According to the International Energy Agency (2016), annual investments in energy-intensive industries of USD 35 billion would be needed in order to reach international climate goals by 2020. This corresponds to an 84 per cent increase compared with investments in 2015. An analysis by the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) of mitigation-related policy options found that, even though experience with implemented policy options is still limited, there is keen interest in industrial energy efficiency, as expressed in technology action plans (TEC, 2016).

The TEC acknowledges the key role that energy efficiency in industry can play in combating climate change. The objective of this TEC Brief is therefore to outline challenges and needs in the context of energy and material efficiency improvements in industry, especially focusing on financing, capacity-building, awareness-raising and innovative policies. Best practices and lessons learned are presented and success factors and the roles of different stakeholders in the process of enhancing industrial energy efficiency are highlighted.This TEC Brief targets international as well as local actors, including policymakers in industrialized countries, emerging economies and developing countries, international organizations, financial institutions and industry actors, providing recommendations for further action.

Publication date
Type of publication
Technology Compendium
Cross-sectoral enabler
Capacity building and training
Energy efficiency
CTCN Keyword Matches
Fuel switch in industry
Industrial symbiosis
Manufacturing industry