2012 a remarkable year for European Energy Efficiency

Date: 13 February 2013

Blog entry by Anders Dyrelund, Ramboll


All EU countries can benefit from 35 years of Danish experience to implement the new EU energy directive from 2012, and in 2012 Denmark started a new road map toward CO2 neutral heat and power in 2035.
 
I can see two reasons that year 2012 was a turning point in European efficiency towards a more sustainable energy sector in Europe and in particular in Denmark – and these two reasons are linked together.
 
The first reason is that 90% of the Danish Parliament March 2012 entered an energy policy agreement regarding the first steps up to 2020 on how to bring Denmark on the right track towards independency of fossil fuels. In fact, spokesmen from the political parties agree that the overall objective is that the heat and power sectors shall be (net) independent of fossil fuels in 2035, and that other sectors should follow not later than 2050. It will be a challenge to do it in a cost effective way, not to reduce welfare but on the other hand to increase competitiveness. http://www.ens.dk/en-US/policy/danish-climate-and-energy-policy/political-agreements/Sider/political-agreements.aspx
 
The second reason is that the European Community agreed during the Danish presidency in 2012 on a new Energy Efficiency Directive – the European Law on Energy Efficiency. It was finally published 25 of October 2012. http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/eed/eed_en.htm
 
The this directive forms together with the Energy Performance Directive for Buildings and the Renewable Energy Directive a perfect packet of European Energy legislation, which will minimize the fossil fuel consumption in buildings in a cost effective way. The objectives of the building directive are to improve the indoor climate in a cost effective way taking into account local conditions. Moreover buildings shall be nearly zero carbon emission building taking into account the opportunity transferring renewable energy and surplus heat from the power production (CHP) to buildings via district heating and cooling infrastructure. To facilitate that, national, regional and local authorities, according to article 14 in the EE directive expected to plan for urban heating and cooling infrastructure in order to identify where it is cost effective to develop it. Even more, the EE directive requests that all new power capacity shall be located near the heat markets and be designed to supply both heating and cooling, unless it is not cost effective. The logic in this request is that the fossil fuel consumption for heating can be cut down by around 70% by using heat extracted from large power plants compared to heat only boilers, thus reducing the losses in cooling towers.

Read the entire article: http://blog.ramboll.com/urbanenergysolutions/uncategorized/2012-a-remarkable-year-for-european-energy-efficiency.html