The Energy Roadmap 2050, the perfect gift for Christmas?
Just in time for Christmas, the European Commission has adopted its Energy Roadmap 2050, in which the European Commission analyses seven scenarios for future EU energy policies.
A welcomed gift indeed, wherein the European Commission clearly spells out that, in each decarbonisation scenarios, energy efficiency is a key ingredient and that energy savings throughout the energy system are crucial. eu.bac, the European Building Automation and Controls Association, strongly supports the notion that primary energy demand must come down by at least a third (32-41%) by 2050 compared to pre-recession highs in 2005-2006.
Today, buildings account for approximately 40% of the EU’s overall energy consumption and for 36% of the EU’s overall GHG emissions. We know that approximately 70% of the buildings that we will occupy in 2050 are already standing at present. Further, around 20% of the energy consumed by Europe’s buildings is wasted, mainly due to inefficient maintenance, a lack of basic energy efficiency measures and poor energy efficiency behaviour by occupants. This waste represents a cost of approximately €270 billion every year, a figure that is set to increase to 53% by 2030 if no action is taken to curb it.The potential is thus enormous, and we welcome the European Commission’s recognition that energy efficiency in new and existing buildings play a key role, as well as the direct reference to not only smart meters, but also technologies such as home and building automation which makes those meters smart by enabling buildings to become intelligent and to communicate with their environment. Final customers will then not only observe but be able to act on their energy use – so-called Demand Response. With the European Commission predicting that expenditure on energy and energy-related product is likely to become a more important element in household expenditure in the future, this is key not only in bigger, non-residential buildings but also in residential buildings.We are concerned, however, that the gift has not been tried on for size: the energy scenarios for 2050 appear to be inconsistent with the fundamentals of the EU’s current policy, including the 20% energy efficiency target for 2020, which none of the scenarios assume will be met.
At the same time, the High Energy Efficiency scenario results for buildings only amount to 41% energy savings in 2050, while 80% savings are estimated to be feasible and cost-effective in this sector.
This will not only lead to a deficit in terms of the possible energy savings, but also fails to build on the immediate public benefits a more ambitious renovation programme would provide, in the shape of much-needed jobs in the building sector while at the same time increasing public revenues from renovation activities.
A European Commission Energy Roadmap 2050, highlighting the vital importance of energy efficiency in buildings has been on the eu.bac wish list for a long time. And now, it has just been released. This is a significant achievement. However, we regret that the European Commission did not take the opportunity to go up even more, ensuring that the ambition levels match those communicated in the-20-20-20 strategy’, said Jean-Yves Blanc, eu.bac President.
For more information, please contact:
Director Governmental Relations
European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac)
Phone: +32 2 706 82 02 / Mobile: + 32 474 91 59 11 / Fax: +32 2 706 82 10