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Fraunhofer Institute for
Systems and Innovation Research ISI

The role of an ambitious energy efficiency target in the frame of a 2030 target system for energy efficiency, renewables and greenhouse gas emissions

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (Fraunhofer ISI) analysed in this report a 2030 target for energy efficiency in the frame of a general target system comprising renewable and greenhouse gas reduction targets. An important basis for such a target system are energy efficiency potentials. In fact, the central approach taken in this analysis is that setting up such a target system is about setting an energy efficiency target in final or primary energy metrics, using the share of renewable energy sources (RES) as a second important input parameter. Ambitious energy efficiency and RES policies together result in large reductions of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. According to the study, the EU has a 41% cost-effective end-use energy savings potential for 2030. In tapping this potential, the EU would reap the wide-ranging economic, social and financial benefits of energy savings, including:

  • Reducing GHG emissions by between 49-61% compared to 1990 levels, enabling the EU to step up its fight against climate change and to keep track for its 2050 climate change target of a reduction of 80-95% compared to 1990. 

  • Boosting its competitiveness through lower energy costs, increased industrial efficiency and a stronger demand for domestic products and services. Households and industry would receive net benefits of €240 billion annually by 2030 and of about €500 billion by 2050 in lower energy bills (see also Fraunhofer ISI, Concrete Paths of the European Union to the 2ºC Scenario , 2012); 

  • Increasing net employment by 400,000 jobs by 2020

A GHG target only approach to 2030 would fail to trigger additional energy savings and neglect an important opportunity to curb energy waste and excessive spending on energy imports. The Fraunhofer research shows that a single 40% GHG emissions reduction target for 2030 could be achieved without driving any energy efficiency improvements beyond those that would occur by realizing present energy efficiency policies. Read the full Fraunhofer ISI report: 

See also the website of the Coalition for Energy Savings, for whom the analysis was carried out: