Last month Schneider Electric attended the industrial energy efficiency event organised by The European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in Berlin, “Going beyond energy efficiency to deliver savings, competitiveness, and a circular economy”. The conference agenda was a great mix of formal presentations and informal sessions, keynotes and networking workshops.
The following key topics were discussed during this event:
- Electricity market design reform in line with Commission’s Energy Union Strategy and Renewable policy
- Review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)
- Revised ETS, Efforts Sharing Decision – inclusion of non-ETS sectors performance into the national target on CO2 reduction
- Circular economy and resource efficiency
- Energy audits and energy management tools
- Business models and financing tools in the industrial energy efficiency
Key takeaways from our experts on the evolution of EED & Article 8
Several sessions were devoted to practical experience in EED Article 8 transposition in different Member states. This Article stipulates an obligation for non-SME companies to periodically carry out energy audits. At the same time it provides a framework for supporting SME companies in conducting energy surveys and implementing energy saving recommendations. Even though the revision of the EED, which should be completed by the end of this year, does not incorporate Article 8, policy makers, regulators and industry representatives have shared number of comments and views on further development of this policy instrument.
Eva Hoos, policy officer in the Energy Efficiency Unit of The Directorate-General for Energy (DG Ener) of the European Commission (EC), suggested that the EC will put in place an enforcement process to ensure Member States transpose the Article requirements into their national legislation properly. In addition, Ms Hoos indicated that providing detailed guidance for all EU Member states with more clarification on qualification and obligation scope across countries will help to harmonise the requirements and improve quality of the performed audits.
At the same time, it was noted that the lack of obligation or incentives to implement recommendations from the energy audits is one of the key challenges of the current legislation.
Participants of the conference offered suggestions to improve efficiency of this policy tool implementation, including setting an energy threshold among qualification criteria, staged approach in audits implementation (as per Sweden), additional benefits attached to the energy management systems implementation and sharing best practices. Establishing robust qualification requirements for the auditors, and ensuring transparency in the scope and methodology of the audits in each Member state could be another supporting measure to improve effectiveness of the energy audits.
One of the tools that could help to utilise the recommendations from the audit, but also in achieving better results in the industrial energy efficiency is the Energy Efficiency Networks, which proved to be quite an efficient tool for sharing the best practices and achieving energy efficiency not only among large companies, but also SMEs.
Few case studies including: expanding Energy Efficiency Networks in Germany; new networking program that will be launched in Sweden for energy-intensive companies; similar initiatives in Switzerland, Belgium and Austria, were presented during the conference, providing solid examples of on-going energy efficiency and carbon reduction improvement.
The current state of implementation of the Article 8 is the first step in putting industries in line with EU-wide energy efficiency target. Therefore the efficiency of this policy tool will need to be evaluated across different member states after the first phase of the implementation.
Overall it was concluded, that In line with the new EU and international targets (Paris Agreement and the SDG’s, as well as the longer term 2050 commitment) there is a requirement to significantly improve the annual energy efficiency rate.
The industry plays a key role accounting for a quarter of EU’s final energy consumption. Eventually, the global 2-degree pathway established in the 2015 Paris Agreement has to be reflected in the energy efficiency strategy of the individual operators, as well as in the energy related regulatory measures.
A great potential for energy savings remains there. Improving visibility of this potential with the help of energy audits and energy management system will facilitate energy efficiency investments.
Irinia Gilfanova, Sustainability Consultant
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