President Unhappy with Europe's Energy Efficiency Progress

EUROPEAN Commission President José Manuel Barroso yesterday announced that he was disappointed by the European Union's (EU) lack of progress on energy efficiency.

“While on the renewables we are making a lot of progress and it is now realistic to think that we are going to fulfill our 20 percent target by 2020, this is not the case for our target on energy efficiency,” he said.

“Let me tell you very frankly that I am unhappy with the progress made on energy efficiency,” he stated.

Barroso warned member states that they are falling well short of their target for improving energy efficiency, set less than four years ago. 

In March 2007 European Union member nations committed to a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency but still it has not been set as a binding target.

While stopping short of calling for such a target to be adopted, Barroso urged the European Council to agree on “concrete measures” to reach the 20 percent energy efficiency target by 2020.

Just before Christmas we reported on these pages how the European Parliament had passed a motion calling for the 20 percent energy efficiency target to be made binding. According to estimates, such a move would reduce the region’s emissions by around 780 million tonnes and save €100 billion in fuel costs.

Barroso said that national governments would achieve only a 10 percent improvement by 2020 unless they agreed to additional measures to achieve the higher target.

New energy efficiency standards need to be applied to reach the 20 percent target, including energy standards for lighting and performance standards for buildings.

Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday the Commission has also indicated that significant funds for energy efficiency grants are still going unclaimed.

Picture by World Economic Forum

Thursday 6th January 2011

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