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The blessings of energy efficiency in an enhanced EU sustainability scenario

  • Although the anticipated "end of cheap oil" has boosted the interest in energy efficiency as a cornerstone of energy and climate strategies, it is usually taken into account on the basis of rather narrowly defined cost-benefit considerations. As a consequence, substantial ancillary benefits are usually barely considered. In a recent study for the European Parliament (EP), the authors assessed two enhanced climate strategies compared to a more conventional strategy. One enhanced climate policy scenario relies, in particular, on raising the annual pace of energy efficiency improvement. The other aims at a radical boost of the market share of renewable energy forms, which, however, presupposes an equally radical improvement of energyAlthough the anticipated "end of cheap oil" has boosted the interest in energy efficiency as a cornerstone of energy and climate strategies, it is usually taken into account on the basis of rather narrowly defined cost-benefit considerations. As a consequence, substantial ancillary benefits are usually barely considered. In a recent study for the European Parliament (EP), the authors assessed two enhanced climate strategies compared to a more conventional strategy. One enhanced climate policy scenario relies, in particular, on raising the annual pace of energy efficiency improvement. The other aims at a radical boost of the market share of renewable energy forms, which, however, presupposes an equally radical improvement of energy efficiency. The present article presents the scenario results and places them in the context of risk characterisation of the considered climate policy scenarios. Risks of international turmoil and energy price hikes could be reduced if dependency rates for fossil fuel imports went down. A more ambitious climate policy can also strengthen the EU position in post-Kyoto global climate agreements and a moderated need for emission trading can, for example, reduce conflicting pressures on clean technology transfer. On the other hand, the implementation of the efficiency strategy will entail increased domestic risks because it will involve a re-prioritisation of resource allocation and will thus affect the current distribution of wealth in both the energy sector and some other closely related sectors. The article outlines the main drivers behind the ambitious energy efficiency scenario and it attaches tentative price tags to the ancillary effects, with special emphasis on the above sketched swapping of risks. It will, therefore, strongly argue for a more holistic view, which underscores the need for political action and the benefits of such proactive policies in favour of energy efficiency.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Stefan LechtenböhmerORCiDGND, Adriaan Perrels, Maike Bunse, Anja Scholten
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-26567
Editor:Sophie Attali
Publisher:Europ. Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
Place of Publication:Stockholm
Year of Publication:2007
Language:English
Source Title (English):Saving energy - just do it! : ECEEE 2007 Summer Study ; conference proceedings ; 4-9 June 2007, La Colle sur Loup, France ; volume 1
First Page:41
Last Page:51
Division:Energie-, Verkehrs- und Klimapolitik
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Politik
Licence:License LogoIn Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt