Recently, the European Union announced an energy plan that is expected to reduce the consumption of primary energy such as coal, oil and natural gas by 20% by 2020. US President George W. Bush also proposed an energy-saving plan. The United States will implement stricter vehicle fuel efficiency standards and reduce gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years. In today's energy shortage, in addition to continuing to call for minimizing the unnecessary energy costs, it is more important to propose new energy-saving ideas and develop new energy-saving technologies. According to a recent publication in the US Newsweek, improving energy efficiency is becoming a new concept of energy conservation. Newsweek summed up the seven most effective new energy-saving methods in the world.

1 Development of energy-efficient buildings

36% of the world's annual energy consumption is used for indoor heating and cooling, so energy-efficient buildings are the best way to solve energy shortages. The key to energy conservation in buildings is the use of thermal insulation materials, so that modern buildings are as warm and cool as the original caves. The heat waves outside the summer will not flood into the building, and the heat in the winter houses will not be distributed outside the building. On the wall, a polyurethane “insulation layer” that seals the surface of the building can be sprayed to prevent heat from spreading through the invisible pores of the wall. Doors and windows are the key places for heat exchange, and the sealing technology of doors and windows is becoming more and more important, and various energy-saving glass is also being developed. Using a roof that reflects sunlight can reduce the heat absorption of the building, thereby reducing energy consumption during the cooling process. Planting some green plants on the building can also reduce heat convection. By introducing sunlight into the room through the "light harvesting device", a large amount of lighting costs can be reduced.

2 use energy-saving lamps

Recently, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, announced that it will sell 100 million energy-saving light bulbs by the end of 2007. These bulbs cost $2 each, but they save a total of $20 in electricity bills. 20% of the world's electricity is consumed in lighting, which is equivalent to burning 600,000 tons of coal a day. And 40% of this energy is consumed by old-fashioned incandescent lamps. Most of the electrical energy consumed by incandescent lamps is wasted on heat, and the part that is actually used for illumination is very small.

In the case of the same degree of illumination, the energy-saving fluorescent lamp not only saves 75% to 80% of energy compared to incandescent lamps, but also has a service life of 10 times that of the latter. If all the old incandescent bulbs are replaced by 2030, the annual electricity savings in the world will be equivalent to the power generation of 650 medium-sized power stations, and the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere will be reduced by 700 million tons.

3 use energy-saving appliances

More than 20% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions are caused by household electricity, and residential electricity is mostly used in various household appliances. In addition to energy-saving light bulbs, the choice of other energy-saving appliances is something we can do right away. According to a study by the International Energy Agency, if consumers choose the most energy-efficient appliances, the electricity consumption of residents around the world will be reduced by 43%. Since the 1980s, home appliance manufacturers have increased the energy efficiency of refrigerators and other large household appliances by about 70%, but there is still room for improvement in this area.

In recent years, more than 60 countries have passed the Green Label Law, so that consumers can choose energy-efficient appliances more wisely. This approach has indeed played a significant role. After the European Union asked manufacturers to classify household appliances based on electricity consumption in 1994, the sales of Class A energy-efficient green appliances rose from almost zero to 80% today.

4 make full use of geothermal

The energy efficiency of appliances such as water heaters, heaters and air conditioners is actually very poor. Only a part of the energy consumed by these heat exchangers is actually used to regulate the temperature. Heat pumps can change this situation, and it consumes almost no traditional energy. The heat pump is a special device that sends heat from the low temperature end to the high temperature end, and is a new energy-saving device. It consists of an evaporator, an air compressor, a condenser, etc., and uses a small amount of working energy to absorb and compress the low-temperature and dispersed heat in a specific environment to make it a useful heat energy. The most heat pump is the geothermal heat. Compared with the ground, underground caves are warm in winter and cool in summer. This is the contribution of geothermal energy, so we can use geothermal energy to save energy. Geothermal energy is an energy source that is not geographically restricted and can be used by people in any part of the world. By drawing heat from the ground, the heat pump can act to provide heat to the house or its water supply system. In the summer, the heat pump can also extract underground cold air to cool the house. Most of the new residential homes in Sweden have used ground source heat pumps, and President Bush has installed a heat pump on the farm in Texas for heating and cooling. In Sweden, residential homes generally receive a return on earnings in six to nine years, while large commercial buildings take only one or two years. In the past two years, Japan has installed about 1 million heat pumps to provide hot water for showers and baths.

5 driving energy-saving cars

A quarter of the world's energy is used for transportation, including two-thirds of crude oil. Recently, some countries are promoting environmentally friendly vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles. In the case of the same amount of gasoline consumption, eco-cars can travel 20% more than conventional cars. Some car energy-saving measures don't cost a lot of money. For example, if you let the car tires have enough inflation, you can increase fuel efficiency by 6%. However, people are worried that if they breathe too much, they will have a puncture. This is why automakers have developed electronic tire pressure sensors. Compared with gasoline-powered cars, the mileage of diesel vehicles can be increased by up to 40%. Compared to the old-fashioned diesel cars that used to smoke and are difficult to start, today's turbocharged direct-injection diesel cars are very clean and efficient, and can now be added to sulfur-free diesel at US gas stations. If the diesel car can replace one-third of the US private cars by 2025, the United States will save 1.5 million barrels of gasoline a day, equivalent to the amount that is now imported from Saudi Arabia every day. Now, some companies have begun to develop the next generation of energy-saving cars: diesel-electric hybrid vehicles.

6 transformation of plant energy consumption equipment

About one-third of the world's energy is consumed by the industrial sector, and the energy savings potential of the industrial sector is high. Since the 1980s, some steel manufacturers in Japan have been leading the way. They use the heat generated by the steel stove to start the turbine, which produces electricity and saves more than 70% of the energy. At Ludwigshafen, Germany, the famous chemical company BASF operates more than 200 chain chemical plants, one of which generates heat for the next chemical plant. Just in Ludwigshafen, this recycling of heat and electricity saves BASF nearly 200 million euros a year. At the same time, the company's carbon dioxide emissions have also been reduced by almost half.

7 support energy-saving company

When I hear about energy conservation, people may think that they need a lot of money to buy energy-saving facilities. This is also an important reason why various energy-saving measures are difficult to promote. Therefore, some governments have begun to support energy-saving companies, and the government has allocated funds to build some state-owned energy-saving companies to allow energy-saving companies to invest in energy-saving facilities. So, isn't the energy-saving company going to lose money? In fact, no, after the energy company's initial investment, it will sign an agreement with you, so that you can give them a part of the energy saved each year, and they will be profitable in a few years. Not long ago, an energy contracting company in Frankfurt, Germany, transformed some of the buildings at Mainz University into energy-efficient buildings, saving about 40% of the energy costs of Mainz University. Under the contract, the energy contracting company will collect a portion of the saved energy bill from Mainz University each year for the next five years.