Industry leaders hail energy efficiency’s potential to boost European growth
As members of the European Parliament’s ENVI and ITRE Committees prepare to vote on their Report on the EU’s climate and energy policies for 2030, representatives of European industry today met with European parliamentarians to deliver a clear signal that energy efficiency must be a priority element of the EU’s future energy policy.
EEIF’s member companies told MEPs that the EU is at risk of wasting the huge economic potential of the energy-efficiency sector with a poorly-designed 2030 policy framework. Jürgen Göller, Director for Sustainability at Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, said “considering that around 40% of the total energy consumption of the EU is used in buildings and around 80% of this share is used for the heating and cooling of buildings, continuous energy-efficiency improvements beyond 2020 in the markets we serve are key to a sustainable future”.
Event host and German MEP Peter Liese said: “Energy efficiency has a big role to play. There is huge savings potential that is yet to be tapped into in many Member States. Putting energy efficiency at the heart of Europe’s future climate and energy policy framework would have a very positive effect on the EU’s economic growth, create jobs, and replace energy imports”.
To emphasise the importance of energy efficiency, this significant section of European industry is pushing for ambitious energy savings in the coming policy framework. Ingersoll Rand Vice-President Manlio Valdés told participants that his company "sees tremendous employment and business growth potential if the EU mandates an energy-efficiency target in its 2030 energy and climate policy".
Roberto Borghini, Marketing and Development Director at Cofely Italia, said “the offer of energy efficiency services fully exists in many Member States. However, there is a need for a stronger signal at EU level to foster its development in Member States where it is still insufficient and to trigger adequate national regulatory frameworks in order to unlock the potential for energy savings".
A recent study by Fraunhofer ISI has shown that the EU has a 40% cost-effective end-use energy savings potential for 2030. It also proves that investments in making energy demand more efficient will trigger significant reductions in primary energy consumption and, therefore, of GHG emissions. By contrast, should one single GHG emissions target coupled with the EU ETS be deployed, this would limit improvements in the efficiency of energy demand and hence result in EU industry and citizens continuing to pay for wasteful energy use.
Without ensuring that energy efficiency is kept at the core of its 2030 policy framework, the EU will certainly lose valuable energy-efficiency gains and economic stimulus, which it badly needs in order to put the economy on a growth track.
Ahead of the lunch debate, European industry leaders endorsed the strong economic benefits of energy efficiency for the EU economy:
- CECED (European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers) President Fabio De’Longhi said: “As citizens, we all benefit when using energy-efficient appliances. They use fewer resources, which is good for the environment. Putting energy efficiency at the heart of Europe’s energy and climate policies provides the best response to the EU’s quest for energy security of supply and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Household appliance manufacturers need a clear and strong political signal from the EU that will encourage the development and support the uptake of new energy-efficient technologies by the market.”
- Highlighting the ability of energy efficiency to reduce costs for European industry, Glass for Europe Chairman Houchan Shoeibi said “energy efficiency is about ‘sound business management’ of our industrial operations”. “It is an absolute necessity for Europe’s flat glass industry and all energy-intensive industrial processes which face high energy costs,” said Shoeibi, also CEO of Saint-Gobain Glass.
- SenerTec Managing Director Michael Boll said: “Europe’s commitment to an energy-efficiency objective, as part of a stable and comprehensive climate and energy framework for 2030, will invigorate innovative European industries like the micro-CHP sector, with multiple benefits for the economy. A strong signal promoting energy efficiency will enable the sector to deliver state-of-the-art solutions for the much-needed upgrade of old and inefficient heating systems, while also achieving significant CO2 emission reductions and supporting a higher share of renewables in the smart energy system of the future.”
- Emmanuel Normant, CEO of Saint-Gobain Insulation Activity, said: "The EU needs a savings target for 2030 to prioritise energy efficiency as the way to successfully achieve the energy transition. Prioritising energy efficiency means encouraging long-lasting investments in the efficiency markets, securing jobs to be created in EU countries rather than elsewhere, and living or working in buildings that no longer waste energy. Both citizens and industry crucially need a savings target for 2030 as part of an ambitious energy and climate package."
- Tony Robson, Group CEO of Knauf Insulation and Chair of the European Alliance to Save Energy, said “a key factor that drives energy efficiency is legislation. Good laws ensure we’re safer, healthier and live better lives. There are 220 million buildings in the European Union today and 160 million are still going to be around in 2050. So, this is a vast energy-efficiency problem that will be inherited by our children and grandchildren unless we introduce deep renovation regulations that ensure these buildings save energy rather than squander it”.
- “That’s why tackling wasted energy has to be at the heart of the European Union’s 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. Putting energy efficiency first will achieve climate targets, improve competitiveness, safeguard energy security, create jobs, reduce costs and give people the comforts they deserve,” he said.
- Jürgen Göller, Director for Sustainability at Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, said “considering that around 40% of the total energy consumption of the EU is used in buildings and around 80% of this share is used for the heating and cooling of buildings, continuous energy-efficiency improvements beyond 2020 in the markets we serve are key to a sustainable future”.
- Denis Givois, President of EFIEES (European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services), said “our companies can deliver a significant part of energy efficiency cost-effective measures in the industry, the residential and public sectors. By providing an overall energy management service and by using high-performance techniques, they offer optimisation of energy consumption leading to the reduction of costs and GHG-emissions. Our businesses provide for tailor-made solutions, adapted to each client’s needs, with a commitment to energy performance and/or savings on a mid/long-term basis, covering all forms of the client’s energy consumption”.
- Ingersoll Rand Vice-President Manlio Valdés said that his company "sees tremendous employment and business growth potential if the EU mandates an energy-efficiency target in its 2030 energy and climate policy".
- Roberto Borghini, Marketing and Development Director at Cofely Italia, said “the offer of energy efficiency services fully exists in many Member States. However, there is a need for a stronger signal at EU level to foster its development in Member States where it is still insufficient and to trigger adequate national regulatory frameworks in order to unlock the potential for energy savings".
- Peter Willbrandt, Chairman of the Management Board at European copper producer Aurubis AG, said “energy efficiency is central to defending Europe’s competitiveness and local job creation, strengthening energy security and delivering sustainable growth. Indeed, energy efficiency remains the single lowest-cost energy solution to keep the energy bills for European industry and citizens under control and help the EU to meet its climate targets”.
*EEIF-participating associations cover companies which supply commercially-available, energy-efficient and energy-saving products, technologies and services that will help to reinvigorate a greener and more sustainable EU economy and contribute over €150 billion of turnover to the EU economy.