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本文摘要:When energy economists gaze into their crystal balls to see what the world will look like in 20 years’ time, some things are clearer than others.当能源经济学家利用水晶球应验二十年后世界的景象时,有些情况要比其他方面更为明晰。


When energy economists gaze into their crystal balls to see what the world will look like in 20 years’ time, some things are clearer than others.当能源经济学家利用水晶球应验二十年后世界的景象时,有些情况要比其他方面更为明晰。Clearest of all is that the global population will grow and with it the world economy. As countries get richer, their demand for energy will rise, placing ever new strains on the planet’s natural resources.最具体的是,世界人口将不会减少,世界经济也不会随之快速增长。随着各国显得更为富裕,他们对能源的市场需求也不会减少,因而大大给地球自然资源带给新的压力。

A closer look at forecasts for energy demand, however, reveals some surprising conclusions.然而,更进一步仔细观察对能源需求的预测,就不会得出结论一些令人吃惊的结论。Consider ExxonMobil’s annual energy outlook to 2040. The company says that total energy demand is growing: the world will need 35 per cent more energy in 2040 than it does now. That growth rate pales in comparison with that of the world economy as a whole: Exxon says global GDP will expand by 135 per cent over the same period. What is more, in the world’s advanced economies – Europe, North America and Japan – energy demand will not grow at all.来想到埃克森美孚(ExxonMobil)到2040年的年度能源未来发展。该公司认为,总的能源需求在减少:2040年,世界能源需求量将比现在减少35%。


The reason for this is energy efficiency. “The greatest source of energy in the future will be using it more efficiently,” says Bill Colton, Exxon’s vice-president for corporate strategy, and one of the authors of the outlook. “Huge amounts of energy will be saved in this way.”原因就是能源效率。埃克森美孚负责管理企业战略规划的副总裁比尔科尔顿(Bill Colton)说道:“未来仅次于的能源来源就是更为有效地利用能源。通过这种方式将节约大量的能源。

”科尔顿也是能源未来发展的作者之一。In the battle against climate change, renewables were long seen as the silver bullet. The argument was that replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar power would reduce carbon emissions and thereby slow or even stop global warming, as well as curb consuming countries’ huge dependence on expensive imported oil and gas. But in the debate about our energy future, the theme of energy efficiency – called the “invisible fuel” by some – is taking on a new prominence. Consumers are starting to understand that the energy they do not use can have almost as much impact as the energy they do.在应付气候变化的过程中,可再生能源仍然被指出是良方。理由就是用风能和太阳能替换化石燃料不会减少碳排放,因而减慢甚至制止全球气候变化,并容许消费国对便宜的进口石油和天然气的相当严重倚赖。

但在关于能源未来的争辩中,能源效率的主题,也就是一些人所说“隐形燃料”,将更为引人注目。消费者开始理解,他们没用于的能源完全与用于的能源不会产生某种程度的影响。The result is a shift in thinking about everything from building design to street lighting. That means the future of energy is no longer the preserve of oil companies, wind farm developers and government officials, but of everyone from architects and appliance manufacturers to civil engineers and carmakers. Big energy savings have been achieved by seemingly minor technological changes such as moving from gas boilers for space heating to heat pumps.结果就就是指建筑设计到街道灯光的理念都再次发生改变。


The potential prize is enormous.潜在的收益是相当大的。A recent report by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Germany found that the EU’s energy requirements could end up being 57 per cent lower in 2050 than they were in 1990, offering the tantalising prospect of 500bn a year in energy savings.德国弗劳恩霍夫协会系统与创意研究所(Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research)最近的一份报告表明,2050年欧盟(EU)的能源需求可能会比1990年还较低57%,能源方面每年节约的资金有可能高达5000亿欧元。The institute says energy use in buildings could be cut by 71 per cent, mainly through better insulation, modern construction technology and energy efficient heating and hot water systems. In transportation, improvements in traffic management and better logistics could result in energy savings of 53 per cent, while more efficient steam generation and electric motors could help reduce industrial energy demand by 52 per cent.该机构回应,建筑上用于的能源可能会减少71%,主要是通过更佳的防水、现代建筑技术、节约能源冷却、热水系统构建的。

在交通领域,交通管理和物流的提高约能节约53%的能源,而更加多的高效冷却和电机可能会使得工业能源需求上升52%。Cumulative spending on such measures is growing fast. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that in 2011 $180bn was invested globally in projects aimed at improving energy efficiency. Yet that is a paltry sum compared to the money flowing into traditional energy production. The IEA says more than three times that amount – nearly $600bn – was invested the same year in expanding or maintaining the world’s supply of fossil fuels.这些技术的总计开支正在较慢减少。国际原子能机构(IEA)认为,2011年全球提高能源效率的项目投资为1800亿美元。但与传统能源生产投资比起,这只是一笔较小的数目。

IEA回应,同一年,在不断扩大或者保持全球化石燃料供应上的投资将近6000亿美元,是这一数目的三倍多。The problem is that there are still significant barriers. With assets such as buildings, the payback time for investing in an improvement in energy efficiency can be several years – often longer than the buyer plans to own the asset.问题的关键在于,提升能源利用效率依然面对极大障碍。

对于像楼房这样的资产而言,投资于改良能效的报酬周期有可能宽约数年——经常比买方计划持有人这一资产的时间还要幸。Also, it can be hard to measure success. The EU recently said it would not meet its target of saving 20 per cent of its primary energy consumption by 2020, partly because of the “lack of appropriate tools for monitoring progress and measuring impacts on the member state level”.此外,节约能源投资的效益也无法取决于。欧盟回应,或无法构建在2020年以前将主要能源消耗量削减20%的目标,部分原因在于“缺少成员国层面的监控节约能源进展以及评估节约能源措施影响的适合工具”。


There is another potential danger – the so-called “rebound effect”. If you save money on electricity by installing a heat pump, for example, but spend what you save on air travel, the improvement in energy efficiency is meaningless. The EU has identified rebound losses of 10-30 per cent.此外还有一个潜在风险——即所谓的“声浪效应”。例如,假设你通过加装热力泵在电费上省了一笔,但把省下来的钱花上在了搭乘飞机旅行上, 那么这种能效提高将毫无意义。

欧盟指出,声浪效应导致的能效损失在10%至30%之间。Still, despite the potential dangers, companies involved in energy efficiency are becoming a new and attractive asset class for investors. Alastair Bishop, portfolio manager of BlackRock’s natural resources team, singles out companies such as Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls, specialists in building automation systems that monitor and control the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting in an office block. Such companies install sensors that turn off lights in a room when it is empty or shut down heating overnight, steps that can contribute to big savings. “If you look at the larger energy story, before the financial crisis it was all about producing more energy,” Mr Bishop says. “But since the crisis, there’s been more awareness of the sustainability and affordability of power.”虽然不存在这些潜在风险,参予能效提高的企业现沦为对于投资者充满著吸引力的一个新的资产类别。

贝莱德(BlackRock)自然资源股团队投资人组经理阿拉斯泰尔毕晓普(Alastair Bishop)将施耐德电气(Schneider Electric)、江森自控(Johnson Controls)等企业单列出来。这类企业擅长于修建自动化系统,需要监控一栋办公大楼内的供暖、空气流通、空气调节以及灯光。


这类公司可以通过加装感应器在房间内空无一人时重开灯光,或者在夜间重开暖气装置,此类措施需要节约大量能源。毕晓普回应:“如果你用一种广义的视角来看能源行业,那么在金融危机再次发生前,生产更好的能源是这一领域的主要目标。但自金融危机再次发生以来,人们对于能源可持续性以及可忍受性的意识日益强化。”Nevertheless, he stresses that investments need government support to work. This is happening – on a large scale. In recent years, all the major energy-consuming countries have passed laws to encourage energy efficiency. The US has introduced new fuel-economy standards for vehicles; the EU has its target of reducing energy demand by 20 per cent by 2020; Japan wants to cut electricity demand by 10 per cent in 2030 compared to 2010; and China has a goal of cutting energy intensity by 16 per cent between 2011 and 2015.他特别强调,在能效领域的投资必须政府反对才能确实发挥作用,而后者早已在较小的范围内开始实行。

近年来,所有主要的能源消费国都通过了目的增进提升能源利用率的法案。美国引进了针对汽车的燃料利用率新标准;欧盟的目标是在2020年以前将自身的能源需求规模削减20%;日本期望在2030年构建电力市场需求较2010年上升10%;中国则订下了在2011至2015年间将单位产值能耗减少16%的目标。“There’s a theme here,” says Exxon’s Mr Colton. “The improvement in efficiency that we’ve been seeing is mostly being driven by government policy. Consumers would not get there on their own.”埃克森的科尔顿回应:“能效领域早已构成了一种主导模式。


”Some policies are highly specific. In 2010, the EU adopted a directive on the energy performance of buildings. It requires all new buildings to be “nearly zero energy” by 2021. On a national scale, too, governments are coming up with evermore innovative ways of encouraging energy savings. Under the UK’s Green Deal scheme, for example, consumers can take out a loan for home improvement measures such as getting rid of an old boiler and pay it back through a surcharge on their electricity bills.某些政策本身高度细化。2010年,欧盟实施了一项有关房屋能效的规定。该规定拒绝,所有新建房屋必需在2021年以前构建“清净能耗相接近于零”。

在单个国家的范围内,各国政府也使用了更加多富裕创新的办法来希望民众节约能源。例如按照英国的Green Deal计划,消费者可以为更换老旧锅炉等房屋翻修措施申请人贷款,并通过缴纳溢价电费的形式不予偿还债务。

Although energy conservation is a big concern in the west, some parts of the world have made little or no progress. The abundance of fossil fuels in the Middle East and the low cost of energy – with heavily subsidised prices for petrol and gas – gives the region little incentive to husband resources. The IEA says the average efficiency of fossil fuel power generation in the Middle East is just 33 per cent – 9 per cent lower than in the west. That is why some are sceptical that global energy intensity – the amount of energy consumed per unit of GDP – will come down drastically soon. Futurologist Jorgen Randers, in a report offering a global forecast for the next 40 years, expects energy intensity to fall by only a third compared to 2010 – not enough to stop catastrophic climate change. Still, Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director, believes: “The most secure energy is the barrel or megawatt we never have to use”.虽然节约能源在西方是一个极为引人关注的问题,世界上的某些地区在节约能源方面却完全没获得任何进展。中东地区充足的化石燃料资源以及便宜的能源成本——汽油和天然气价格因为来自政府的大额补贴而正处于低位——造成该地区完全没动力来节约能源。国际能源机构回应,中东地区化石燃料发电的平均值效率仅有为33%,较西方国家较低了9个百分点。

这也正是为什么某些人猜测全球单位产值能耗——生产每单位GDP所需消耗的能源数量——能否在短时间内明显上升。未来学家乔根兰德斯(Jorgen Randers)在一份预测未来40年全球面貌的报告中预计,单位产值能耗相对于2010年时仅有不会上升三分之一——足以制止灾难性的气候变化再次发生。

但国际能源机构总干事玛丽亚范德胡芬(Maria van der Hoeven)仍然指出:“最安全可靠的能源是我们节约下来、总有一天不用中用的石油或电力。



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