Daily Management Review

The EU will reduce energy consumption by 30% before 2030


European regulators want to oblige EU member states to reduce energy consumption by 30% by 2030, reported British media.

Energy Efficiency Directive is part of a strategy to reduce emissions and prevent energy losses. Among other things, the document envisages promotion of renewable energy. At the moment, 29 euro-zone member states are close to 23.9%-reduction of the energy use by 2030. However, officials want to go even further.

The new directive will be based on existing rules, which call for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, improving energy efficiency by 20%, as well as production of 20% of generation capacity from renewable sources.

Without the concept of energy efficiency, a large number of cost-effective investments in 2030 will lose its meaning. This, in turn, will adversely affect all EU citizens and industries. The document stresses that absence of such a concept will prevent the union from achieving an acceptable level of energy security, protecting the environment and reducing energy costs of households and enterprises. It will also be impossible to implemented measures to increase employment and inter-sectoral economic activity. 

A preliminary agreement on the climate, reached in October 2014, obliges all participants to reduce energy consumption by at least 27% by 2030. The United States and China have already ratified the Paris climate agreement so that the EU has to catch up. The new concept proposed by Eurozone officials will make energy efficiency mandatory in legal terms, although the agreement in 2014 was voluntary.

Despite this, environmental NGOs and MEPs are unlikely to be satisfied. Before, they called for a reduction of energy consumption by 40% in 2030.

According to the European Commission, buildings consume about 40% of energy in the EU, so the new project focuses on improving energy efficiency of buildings. Other suggestions relate to installation of charging stations for electric vehicles in the parking lots, and new readers for smart cards at the entrances to buildings.

A proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 was published in July 2016. The original document has to be approved by the European Parliament and national ministers.

Earlier, IHS reported that renewable energy sources (RES) can provide about half of energy used for heating homes in Europe by 2040. Tightening of existing regulation can reduce end-users’ demand for gas twice in the next 20-25 years, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions of residential buildings by more than 75% by 2050. These changes will help Europe achieve goals of energy and climate policies of the European Union in 2030 and 2050 respectively.

Heating sector has been at the center of attention after releasing first heating and cooling strategies on February 16.

According to IHS study, use of renewable energy for heating in the residential sector could reach 49% by 2040. This is quite a big number, since heating and cooling account for nearly half of European energy consumption. The main part of energy consumption in Europe falls on space heating and water heating.

According to Catherine Robinson, senior director of IHS Energy, the current pace of change in the heating sector will not help Europe achieve the targets in 2030 and 2050. Analysis IHS suggests that increased share of low-cost heating from renewables can transform the European heating sector significantly. This would happen in the next 15 years through legalization of input hybrid heating systems, which combine a highly efficient boiler, a condensing gas and a heat pump.

Transformation of the sector can significantly change situation in countries where gas heating is predominant, for example, in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France or Italy. Hybrid heating systems can directly replace most of the existing gas boilers without need for major repairs. From an environmental point of view, such hybrid systems can provide wide-scale and cost-effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

source: arstechnica.co.uk, ihs.com