The new eceee report (pdf) is based on a survey completed by eceee members and other contacts in most Member States together with an online stakeholder consultation. The report is designed to help decision-makers and relevant stakeholders appreciate how targets are currently used and how effective they can be. It is hoped that this report will provide evidence to be used in the upcoming policy development discussions. Together with the report, eceee also opened a page on EU energy efficiency policy issues and targets.
On these pages, the main report and an accompanying report (providing country specific information) are available together with background information on policy and targets. eceee’s dedicated EEP pages have been moved to the new section as well. “eceee today doesn’t advocate a particular form of targets,” says Mr Nils Borg, eceee’s Executive Director. “National targets is a contentious issue and part of the controversies depend on how to define targets and what targets to use. The report provides an overview of the existing targets and the current thinking on targets in EU Member States, and we hope all stakeholders will find this useful.” The findings of the report need to be seen in the current policy context in Europe. A new Energy Savings Directive is to be proposed by the European Commission in June 2011. While it is currently assumed there will be no specific targets (indicative or mandatory) proposed, the possible use of targets cannot be dismissed because it is acknowledged that the EU is not on track to meet its 2020 energy savings (indicative) target. The more effective use of targets could be an option to help address that gap. The report gives a comprehensive cross-EU overview.
There are summaries of the situation in each Member State. Full details of the information gathered from each country are included in a separate, companion report. “We are excited over the fact that we managed to involve a large number of respondents from all over EU. We are grateful to all who put time into this. Without all these stakeholders getting involved the report would have been less relevant and, frankly, much less interesting,” says Mr Borg. A number of conclusions regarding existing targets were made. These are based on a synthesis of respondents’ views and literature research:
- While there is a wide variety of targets in use, it is difficult to compare them even within individual Member States. For example, the Energy End Use and Energy Services Directive from 2006 has raised the profile of energy efficiency and has encouraged greater use of targets across the EU but it is not possible to tell how much additional energy efficiency action it has resulted in.
- Targets are definitely seen as only one element of the solution: there needs also to be political, stakeholder and resource commitment.
- The types of target in use vary between sectors: white certificate style approaches with legally binding targets are favoured for the energy supply sector; voluntary agreements are used with industrial sectors, and transactional targets are most common in the buildings sector.
- Different types of targets are suited to different energy efficiency policy aims, but there remains a need for a clear and understandable headline target, to act as an umbrella for all national action, supplemented by a range of other targets suited to national priorities and context.
- Targets need to balance achievability and ambition. If they are too low they are meaningless. But if they are too high it is likely that key stakeholders will not engage in the delivery process.
The report also looks into measurement issues as well as future targets setting. On future targets, respondents concluded that:
- There is a concern that the current differential in status between the binding renewables target and the non-binding energy efficiency target is skewing activity inappropriately towards renewables. But the political viewpoint that sees the idea of another binding target as adding further regulatory burden as acknowledged.
- Whilst a binding target would address this imbalance, the risk that it would limit flexibility of response is recognised.
- If binding targets do become the way forward, they would need to be high level and achievable and may also require the harmonised measurement framework to be simple, high-level, transparent, and with room for innovation and continuous improvement.