21 May 2012

EU energy efficiency law can lay ground for growth

Photo: eu2012.dk
Photo: eu2012.dk
The EU member states have agreed that the negotiations of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive should be completed by the end of June 2012. Currently the Danish Presidency is negotiating an agreement with the European Parliament.

"Future growth in Europe hinges on increased resource efficiency and to a very large extend increased energy efficiency," said Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard on Monday.

"The Energy Efficiency Directive can form a valuable part of the foundation for growth and job creation in years to come - and will limit Europe's import of expensive fossil fuels."

The Directive requires to increase energy efficiency in the Union to achieve the objective of saving 20 percent of the bloc's primary energy consumption by 2020.

The Directive will cost EUR24 billion a year until 2020 but it will save companies and consumers EUR44 billion due to reduced fuel expenditures and less investments in energy generation and distribution.

The European Commission has estimated that the Directive will lead to an increased GDP in EU of EUR34 billion in 2020, and increased employment of 400,000. If all foreseen energy efficiency measures will be implemented within the next decade, every household in Europe could save up to EUR1,000 every year.

Improving energy efficiency by 20 percent in 2020 can cut 740 million tonnes of the EU's CO2 emissions every year and set Europe on a cost-efficient trajectory for reaching the target of cutting emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050.

"From 2010 to 2011 alone, the EU's oil bill increased by nearly EUR100 billion. It is high time that we put a plug in this hole and redirect our money from importing energy from outside the EU to making energy investments in Europe."

"Improving energy efficiency is not in opposition to economic growth, it is instead a prerequisite for economic growth," Lidegaard said.

Source: Danish EU Presidency

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