Securing Energy Efficiency to Secure the Energy Union

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We're still coming to terms with the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) 'Securing Energy Efficiency to Secure the Energy Union: how energy efficiency meets the EU Climate and Energy Goals' report from late last year.
The 68-page document demonstrated the contribution of energy efficiency to the EU energy & climate policies and its role within the EU's energy system.
Perhaps a clearer description would be that it quantified the impact of energy efficiency on import dependency, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and competitiveness of the EU economy.
Most remarkably, the report demonstrates that with a 40% energy savings target in 2030, the sum of energy savings and renewables will overtake the sum of imported fossil fuels.
To put that into perspective, as things stand, fossil fuel imports worsen most Member States' trade balances and increase their contribution to global warming.
A 40% energy efficiency target in 2030 would also allow the EU to reduce its GHG emissions by 44%, compared to where it was in 1990.
The report indicates how by making energy efficiency the mechanism for delivering moderation of demand, the EU will meet its objectives in terms of security of supply, climate change, at the same time as driving growth, boosting the competitiveness of the EU industry and creating jobs.
However, it warns that Member States will have to design climate and energy policies to make energy saving the 'niche fuel' for savers – especially when energy prices are low – if the decarbonisation of the EU energy system is to be achieved.
That means scaling-up private investment in energy efficiency projects, reshaping institutions and skills as well as investing in the development and the deployment of low-carbon technologies.
"The aim is to ensure that energy saving compete on equal terms with generation capacity by lowering the perceived risk by investors which increases the financial cost and consequently the capital-cost of the decarbonisation of the EU energy system. A guarantee fund for such investments is recommended. It would reduce financial cost by providing a guarantee for energy efficiency loans, thus lowering the interest rate and consequently the capital cost. Furthermore, given the common agreement to consider climate change and energy security as societal issues which are both mitigated by energy efficiency, a societal discount rate should be used when conducting costs/benefits analysis of the decarbonisation of the EU energy system."
 Energy Union



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