April 15, 2011
Regarding ‘Europe can make 30% emissions cuts, EU figures show‘:
The Low-carbon Economy Roadmap establishes that a cost-effective pathway would reach 25% emission reductions by 2020. There is no inconsistency in modelling itself. For the Energy Efficiency Plan, no specific modelling work was carried out on reaching the 20% efficiency target. A simple calculation was made to show what 20% energy savings would mean in terms of 2020 energy consumption.
It is correct that the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap modelling does not assume that the indicative Energy Efficiency target is automatically met. The modelling shows that in the current circumstances the carbon market will not create sufficient incentives to reach the 20% energy efficiency target. The indication in the article that implementing the 20% efficiency target would lead to 30% emission reductions is incorrect as it mixes up targets and measures. It assumes that a carbon price would be in place to reach 25%, which is not the case, and then adds energy efficiency on top of that.
The roadmap impact assessment (p.55) includes a detailed calculation showing that reaching the 20% indicative energy efficiency target would in principle enable GHG emission reductions of 25%, but not 30%.
In a decarbonised EU, energy consumption would change substantially. The overall use of energy resources would decrease significantly across all scenarios, reducing to 1740 Mtoe in 2020 and going to around 1650 Mtoe by 2030. Decreases would be even steeper after 2030, resulting in a projected gross inland energy consumption of between 1300 and 1350 Mtoe by 2050.
According to the impact assessment for the Energy Efficiency Plan, the effects of the crisis and implemented policies until December 2009 will deliver 164 Mtoe of energy savings compared to the 2007 baseline, whereas full implementation of the energy savings objective would require a reduction of primary energy use by 368 Mtoe in 2020.
Thus, the remaining gap to achieve the 20% energy efficiency target in 2020 is a further reduction of primary energy use equivalent to around 200 Mtoe.
Translating this into additional GHG emissions reductions indicates that around a further 400 Mt CO2 would be reduced in 2020 if the energy efficiency target is fully achieved, or the equivalent of a further 7% reductions of GHG emissions compared to 1990.
If this is achieved on top of the GHG reductions in reference by 2020, this would enable the EU to reduce internal emissions by 25% or more by 2020.
Finally, Friends of the Earth appears to misinterpret some of our data and “double count” some savings in their calculations.
EU Climate Commissioner Connie HedegaardAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor