New eceee analysis: More ambitious energy efficiency targets good for climate, jobs, energy security and the economy

(eceee news, 15 Dec 2014) eceee today launched an analysis paper entitled “What we will gain from more ambitious energy efficiency goals in the EU”. The analysis presents and explains the findings of the Commission’s 2030 energy policy framework impact analysis from this summer. The conclusion is that more ambition is cheaper for the EU as a whole and helps EU meet a number of difficult challenges.

On October 24th, the European Council agreed to a non-binding target for an energy efficiency increase of at least 27%, to be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30% for 2030. However, in July the European Commission published its Communication on energy efficiency where the Commission proposed a target of a 30% improvement in energy efficiency, up from the previous mentioned level of 25% published in early 2014.

The Council’s decision was thus a watered down compromise. But despite this compromise decision, eceee believes that is is still important to take a careful look at the Impact Assessment following the July Communication.

This impact assessment shows that taking the level of ambition beyond a 30% energy efficiency improvement could deliver significant benefits in a number of areas that would otherwise be lost.  It should also be noted that a high ambition level for energy efficiency would lead to a reduction of primary energy use with positive effects on jobs, energy security, GDP and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

“The Commission’s impact assessment has been criticised for applying assumptions, such as discount rates, that are too conservative.  However, in this analysis eceee chose not to discuss the various assumptions. Instead, we simply concluded that the impact analysis as it is justifies much higher EU ambition levels and we believe this excellent information need to be communicated and explained to a larger audience” says Nils Borg, Executive Director of eceee.

The report discusses a number of benefits that would follow from higher more ambitious EU targets.

  • Significantly lower total energy consumption in the EU
  • Significantly lower net energy imports, thus improving overall energy security
  • Important shift in investments to the residential and tertiary sectors
  • Positive impact on economic growth
  • Important and positive employment impact throughout all of the EU
  • Greater environmental benefits
  • Important benefits to lower fuel poverty together with a range of health benefits
  • Improved competitiveness for Europe’s businesses

Download the report here

See column by Peter Bach : Why not share more of the big European opportunity?

See eceee's 2030 policy framework pages