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Fraunhofer Institute for
Systems and Innovation Research ISI

EU energy demand can be cut by two thirds

Press Release 19.11.2012

By 2050, the European Union's primary energy demand can be cut by two thirds by implementing energy-efficiency measures. This is the conclusion of a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, which was commissioned by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU). The study was presented in Berlin today. Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry emphasized that energy efficiency increases offer huge potentials. At the same time, around 90 percent of all energy-saving measures pay for themselves. Energy efficiency could reduce the costs of energy considerably and even make a profit.

Energy efficiency can therefore make a crucial contribution to reducing the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent as planned by 2050. If all the measures outlined in the study were implemented, it would be possible to save billions of euros annually. According to Tobias Boßmann, a project researcher at the Fraunhofer ISI, “In 2050, savings would amount to around 500 billion euros each year.”

The Fraunhofer ISI calculated possible annual cost savings of 125 billion euros for private households alone, mainly via building- and heating-related efficiency measures. Industry could cut its energy bills by 100 billion euros per year by 2050, primarily through the use of efficient cross-cutting technologies, like those for providing steam and hot water, and through using efficient motor applications. In the transport sector, technological improvements in road traffic could halve energy demand. Savings of around 200 billion euros per year could be achieved by reducing fuel consumption.

A brochure on the study “ Contribution of Energy Efficiency Measures to Climate Protection within the European Union until 2050” can be downloaded at

Additionally, the recent study “Tangible ways towards climate protection in the European Union” is available on the ISI website at This study shows that long-term increases in energy efficiency combined with the expansion of renewable energies are enough to achieve the necessary CO₂ savings in the electricity sector. This study was also commissioned by the BMU. 

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise lies in a broad scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.