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IFIEC Europe responds to EU energy efficiency plans

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World Cement,

IFIEC Europe – the European arm of the International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers – has responded to the EU’s report, ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2040’ with some suggestions on the energy efficiency prospects for 2020 and the potential for further improvements to 2030.

Prospects for meeting the 2020 target

The Commission estimates the EU will achieve energy efficiency savings of 18 – 19% by 2020, below the targeted 20%. The fall short is just 20 – 40 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe). IFIEC Europe addresses the following points:

  • Efficiency is a growth strategy. Greater efficiency gives greater latitude for growth. European industry has been investing in energy efficiency for more than three decades and will continue to do so while economically justified.
  • The remaining potential to improve efficiency is relatively small. State-of-the-art investments in new and replace production capacity will lead to significant energy efficiency. Restrictions of production and growth and an unattractive investment framework will hinder investment.
  • Successful schemes supporting efficiency in industry are applied through incentives and voluntary agreements, rather than binding requirements. Due to the heterogeneity of this sector, companies have been offered full flexibility in how to achieve requirements.
  • Existing instruments (e.g. the EU Emissions Trading System), require industry to be more energy efficient.

IFIEC Europe asks that it be acknowledged that the European energy intensive industry is one of the most efficient worldwide; that the EU proceeds sector by sector on the basis of remaining economically feasible technical potential; that there is full flexibility in terms of how these requirements are achieved; that double regulation is avoided; that no cap on energy consumption is set; that the EU provides a positive investment climate.

Assessing the potential for 2030

IFIEC Europe welcomes the Commission’s statement that the EU ETS is the main tool driving energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions in industry. Although CO2 reduction cannot be equated with energy savings, there are two ways to reach the CO2 targets: fuel change and efficiency improvements. IFIEC Europe calls on European institutions to adopt a more streamlined approach after 2020 to reach the targets and avoid overlapping instruments. The Federation urges European institutions to focus on ETS as a key driver for energy efficiency in the ETS sectors.

The way forward

IFIEC Europe supports a modified EU ETS (a dynamic system allowing industrial growth) as the central instrument for climate change policies in the future. The Federation stresses the need to consider the cost-effectiveness of any measures introduced to promote energy efficiency.

  • It is vital to provide a positive economic and investment climate.
  • Sectors with the highest economic efficiency potentials should contribute the most so that the burden is shared.
  • Pursuing energy efficiency should be understood to be different to putting limits on energy consumption and production.
  • Efficiency should be seen as a stimulus towards creativity, modernisation and sustainability.

Abridged from IFIEC report by

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