Fraunhofer-Institut für
System- und Innovationsforschung ISI

BMU energy roadmap

Contribution of Energy Efficiency Measures to Climate Protection within the European Union until 2050

Given the risks associated with global warming and its potential consequences due to the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), the European Union (EU) has pledged to reduce its emissions by at least 20 percent until 2020 and by at least 80 percent until 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

Since energy efficiency represents a powerful option to tackle these objectives, the present study analyses in detail to what extent energy savings can contribute to GHG emission mitigation in the EU until the year 2050 and which technologies are required for the energy saving potentials identified.

The technology based bottomup approach distinguishes this study from most of the other existing reports. The study comparison clearly shows that most of the time energy efficiency options are not being considered to their full extent as a technology option for carbon mitigation in the various scenarios. Moreover, the level of detail regarding the deployment of efficiency measures is well below the accuracy usually applied to the analysis of the energy supply side, particularly the power sector.

The analysis of the different sectors reveals the largest final energy saving potential to be in the buildings sector, whereas the highest financial benefits can be gained in the transport sector. In 2050, the overall final energy demand could be reduced by 57 percent compared to the baseline projection, with annual cost savings of about 500 billion €’05. With regard to primary energy demand, efficiency improvements when converting primary to final energy are also considered. The shift towards a highly efficient power sector results in reductions of 25 percent in the primary energy demand and 15 percent in GHG emissions. Saving options related to final energy use deliver additional reductions of 42 percent and 52 percent, respectively. The comparison of the energy saving potentials with the energy demand trajectories presented in the recently published EU Energy Roadmap 2050 of the European Commission shows that none of the Energy Roadmap scenarios analysed meets the 20 percent efficiency target for 2020. Moreover, in the Energy Roadmap the demand side is analysed in a highly aggregated manner which prevents a more detailed analysis of the concrete technologies and policies assumed.

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