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Energy Roadmap 2050 on efficiency: many signs – no direction

December 15, 2011

The European Commission adopted today its Energy Roadmap 2050 outlining challenges for the energy system to deliver on the EU’s 2050 climate objective. The Coalition for Energy Savings welcomes the recognition that Europe’s priority must be to become dramatically more energy efficient. This increases the pressure to put Europe back on track to achieve its 20% energy savings target.

However, the Coalition is concerned by the energy scenarios’ assumptions and results, which do not accurately reflect the potential and the imperative of energy efficiency. The scenarios for 2050 are inconsistent with the fundamentals of EU energy policy, including the 20% energy savings target for 2020. Instead of building on existing EU climate and energy objectives and the opportunity presented by the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive, the model uses a flawed approach for energy efficiency leading to pessimistic results and inflated system costs.

We appreciate the Commission’s recognition that energy efficiency is the top priority, but it is incomprehensible that none of the Roadmap’s scenarios assume that the 20% energy savings target will be achieved”, said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. “The energy efficiency sign is on the wall but the direction is missing”, he added.

Achieving the 20% energy savings target is completely feasible with a strong Energy Efficiency Directive, and the Commission’s forward planning for 2050 should cultivate this. Meeting the 2020 target is a prerequisite for cost-effectively making the greenhouse gas emission reductions that Europe has just reaffirmed in Durban that we need to make.said Erica Hope, CAN Europe Senior Policy officer on Energy Savings.

Although the Roadmap acknowledges that higher energy efficiency in new and existing buildings is crucial, the scenario results for buildings are particularly misleading. They only amount to 47% energy savings in 2050, while 80% savings are estimated to be feasible with current technologies and cost-effective in this sector.

“Improving the energy performance of EU buildings is the most obvious way of combining economic recovery and job creation with the much needed strong action for fulfilling our long-term environmental goals. Taking this into account, we expected much clearer, more coherent and ambitious signals from a long-term strategy. Unfortunately, today’s Roadmap conveys no more than a confused business-as-usual message on energy efficiency”, said Jan te Bos, Secretary General of Eurima.

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