The EU should consider intensity in its next energy efficiency target for 2030, according to a senior EU official, a move which could lend support to carbon prices.
The current EU-wide target is to improve energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.
The new goal for 2030 could instead focus on energy intensity, rather than absolute reductions in energy consumption.
“If we come to a new binding target for efficiency – so for energy savings – I think we have to integrate emission intensity. It should be connected to our GDP level,” Gunther Oettinger, energy commissioner for the EU said on Tuesday at a conference in London held by power sector lobby group EURELECTRIC.
Some environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) do not favour an energy intensity target because it does not necessarily reduce overall emissions.
“In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is necessary to reduce energy consumption,” Dora Petroula, energy saving policy officer at Belgium-based NGO CAN Europe said on Tuesday.
If implemented, an energy intensity target could offer more support to EU allowance (EUA) prices than an absolute energy efficiency goal because it would not be as great a guarantee of emissions reductions. Carbon permits may therefore still be required to cover any atmospheric pollution that was not cut.
The European Commission in January proposed targets for 2030 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% on 1990 levels and ensuring that 27% of energy comes from renewable sources ( see EDCM 22 January 2014 ). Ben Lee