Japan Needs Three Times Less Energy than US for Same Economic Output

Less is more indeed! We knew that the Japanese were efficient – and that the US wasn't – but that's still a lot. 300% more energy per $1 of economic output in the US! And they are not resting on their laurels; they are working very hard to go even farther. This NY Times article details how Japan is trying to get the most out of very costly fuel and to meet the greenhouse gas emission targets that it set for itself in the Kyoto Protocol. Easy to conceive that it would look quite bad if Japan did not do everything possible to meet the objectives from a treaty that bears the name of one of its cities... But unfortunately, "figures released last month show Japan was 8.3 percent over the 1990 level for the fiscal year ended March 2004."Even though Japan is already among the most frugal countries in the world, the government recently introduced a national campaign, urging the Japanese to replace their older appliances and buy hybrid vehicles, all part of a patriotic effort to save energy and fight global warming.

A few examples: A vacuum-insulated refrigerator, which comes with a buzzer if the door stays open more than 30 seconds, boasts that it will use 160 kilowatt-hours a year, one-eighth of that needed by standard models a decade ago. An air-conditioner with a robotic dust filter cleaner proclaims it uses 884 kilowatt-hours, less than half of what decade-old ones consumed.
::Japan Squeezes to Get the Most of Costly Fuel, via ::NRDC Blog