The EU must triple its energy efficiency efforts in order to reach its 2020 energy savings target, a policy advisory report says.
The Energy Savings 2020 report, commissioned by the Brussels-based European Climate Foundation and US-based Regulatory Assistance Project and written by research groups Ecofys and Fraunhofer, says current EU policy is delivering only one?third of the potential cost-effective savings measures. The report also calls for the introduction of a binding commitment on energy savings.
According to the report, energy savings of around 394 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) are needed to meet the EU goal of achieving 20% energy savings by 2020 as compared to business as usual. However, based on current policy, it forecasts a gap of around 208Mtoe.
To close this gap, the report said a threefold increase in policy impact is needed.
The target can be met cost-effectively through policy and incentives that encourage measures such as home insulation, efficient lighting and increased power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the report. Such measures could slash €78 billion ($102 billion) annually off European energy consumers’ bills by 2020 – an average saving of €380 per household.
In order to meet goals for energy savings – targets for which are currently voluntary – the report said a binding energy savings target has “a key role to play”.
The report argues, investment in energy saving measures must be scaled up, and calls for financing mechanisms to channel public funds and incentives for private sector investment.
Patty Fong, Hague-based energy efficiency programme director at the European Climate Foundation, told Environmental Finance that current policy does not allow for cost-effective energy savings targets to be met, adding that “more needs to be done”.
By. Charlotte Dudley
Source: Environmental Finance