EU States Missing Energy Saving Targets

AN analysis by the Coalition for Energy Savings of the European Union (EU) Member States’ plans for achieving 1.5% annual energy savings shows the bloc are falling short of their targets.

The analysis highlights that most countries not only show low ambition but also fail to demonstrate credibly how the mandatory energy savings target will be reached, exposing them to infringement procedures and possible fines.

The 1.5% annual energy savings target - one of the centerpieces of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive - should take the EU closer to its 20% energy savings target by 2020. Improving the EU energy efficiency will boost the economy, combat climate change and reduce dependency on energy imports.

“EU leaders rightly stressed the need to moderate energy demand as the first step to reduce the bloc’s energy dependency, which is exactly what the Energy Efficiency Directive should deliver. Yet most governments’ implementation plans, in particular those from central and eastern countries, are not ambitious and do not convince us that the minimum energy savings will be reached. It is time for Member States to walk the talk and ensure compliance to EU legislation”, said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings.

Almost all countries use the maximum exemptions to lower the 1.5% annual end-use energy savings, which means that the average target in the EU is actually only 0.8%. In addition the majority of plans are weak and increase the risk for the EU to miss its 20% energy savings target for 2020. Only three plans, from Croatia, Denmark and Ireland, out of the 27 published and included in the analysis, provide a credible and meaningful case for how savings targets will be achieved.

Twelve nation's plans, including Finland, Germany, Sweden and all central and eastern EU countries except Croatia and Latvia, are either incomplete - and thus not assessable - or of low quality. Common problems are the incorrect calculation of the target, ineligibility of measures, and inclusions of energy savings that would have happened anyway.

The good news is the uptake of energy efficiency obligations schemes for the energy sector in a large number of Member States, which should help transform the market for energy efficiency.

A lot more needs to be done rapidly to ensure that commitments to energy efficiency are honored and legal requirements are respected. Member States have further opportunities to improve their plans and turn them into action with their National Energy Efficiency Action Plans, due 30 April 2014, and when transposing the Directive into national laws, which must be completed by 5 June this year.

Source: Coalition for Energy Savings.

Photo: European Parliament Strasbourg by JLogan (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday 24th April 2014

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