Electricity market reform must rethink energy efficiency for renewables era

(EurActiv, 27 Nov 2023) The thinking around energy efficiency is still stuck in the fossil fuel era, says Sofie Irgens. We must move on from focusing on fuel economy and ramp up discussions on electrification, flexibility and reducing demand, she argues.

Sofie Irgens is senior vice president and heads the climate solution accelerator division at the Danish multinational Danfoss.

This outdated understanding of energy efficiency jeopardises our ability to meet global climate goals and boost energy security across Europe.

The transition to renewables is in full swing, but we cannot continue to build out renewables without also fundamentally overhauling our energy grids to accommodate this massive influx of renewable electricity. To drive this overhaul, we will need to rethink energy efficiency for the era of renewables.

European leaders have a golden opportunity to do this through ongoing negotiations to revamp the design of the EU’s electricity market. These reforms aim to provide a long-term solution for avoiding price spikes in Europe’s electricity market, which relies heavily on the cost of fossil fuels used in electricity generation.

However, a long-term solution must consider that our energy system will comprise fewer fossil fuels yearly.

Now more than ever is the time to begin thinking about electrification and flexibility as part and parcel of energy efficiency in the European energy market. We now have a wide range of cost-efficient tools and technology to achieve net zero, but this can only become a reality if they are prioritised in the upcoming reforms.

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EurActiv, 27 Nov 2023: Electricity market reform must rethink energy efficiency for renewables era