Commission ups efficiency target

24th July 2014


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Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Management/saving ,
  • Energy

Author

Steve Johnson

The European commission has proposed a 30% energy efficiency target by 2030. EU member states will vote on the proposal at a summit in October.

Officials in Brussels had omitted an energy efficiency target from its 2030 climate goals, which were published in January, saying they would wait until a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive had been completed. That review has concluded that with current measures the EU would achieve energy savings of 18–19% by 2020, slightly short of its 20% target by the end of the decade. However, the review also found that if all member states work seriously to properly implement the already agreed legislation, the 20% target could be reached without the need for additional measures.

Günther Oettinger, commission vice-president for energy, claimed the 2030 target would help drive the EU towards increased security of energy supply, innovation and sustainability. “It is ambitious and at the same time it is realistic. The energy efficiency strategy will complete the 2030 framework on energy and climate, which has been presented in January 2014. Our aim is to give the right signal to the market and encourage further investments in energy saving technologies to the benefit of businesses, consumers and the environment,” he said.

The commission says it expects energy savings to create new jobs over the next 15 years by increasing opportunities for European businesses, such as construction firms and manufacturers of energy-using equipment. Measures to reduce energy consumption include improving the energy efficiency of Europe’s buildings and household appliances, and the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and smart meters.

However, the UK Green Building Council described the 30% target as “too low”, arguing that it would fail to unlock the full social and economic benefits of greater efficiency and did not acknowledge investors' need for certainty in the form of a binding target.

On 22 January 2014, the commission proposed new targets for 2030 in greenhouse gas reductions and renewable energy in its 2030 Framework on Climate and Energy – 40% and at least 27%, respectively.


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