The rate of improvement in primary energy intensity, which had already slowed in recent years, dropped to 0.6% in 2020. This makes it the worst year for energy intensity improvement since the global financial crisis. Annual improvement through 2030 must now average 3.4% to meet the target of SDG 7.3. This slowdown was influenced by a shift in the economic structure during Covid towards more energy-intensive industrial production, combined with only modest rates of technical efficiency improvements, in the context of low energy prices.

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