EU energy consumption fell in 2018, having been on the rise from 2014 to 2017, but a considerable acceleration in this reduction is needed if the 2020 target for energy efficiency is to be achieved, according to the Commission’s annual progress report on energy efficiency published today. Based on the different reports submitted by each Member State in 2019 relating to energy efficiency, the cumulative figures in this report underline that rising economic activity results in higher energy demand if it is not accompanied with new energy efficiency policies.
The report confirms that under normal circumstances [i.e. without COVID-19], it is unlikely that the EU would have met its 2020 target. This will remain an issue, when energy demand recovers after the COVID-19 crisis, with a view on achieving the 2030 energy efficiency targets.
In its conclusions, the report refers to the delivery gap between the 32.5% energy efficiency target for 2030 and the cumulative ambition of Member States outlined in their respective National Energy & Climate Plans (NECPs). It confirms that many Member States have responded positively to last year’s Commission recommendations on the draft NECPs, but states that the cumulative impact from the final NECPs is still likely to be short in ambition to reach the EU 2030 energy efficiency targets. The final Commission assessment is due for publication in the autumn. This delivery gap in energy efficiency efforts for 2020 and the ambition gap for 2030 require robust action at national and at EU level in view of the post-COVID recovery, the report concludes.
Under the energy efficiency directive, Member States are required to submit an annual report on how they have performed in terms of reducing energy consumption. The Commission is then required to provide an assessment to the Council and the European Parliament of the cumulative impact of the different measures taken at national level.
23 July 2020