Huge differences in energy efficiency policies implemented in the 28 EU member states have been uncovered by a study. The survey was funded by the EU and is entitled, ‘Energy Efficiency Watch.’ After interviewing 80 experts and collecting opinions from 655 interviewees, it was concluded that the EU needs to include more harmonisation and integration in its policies.
National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP)
The report states that ‘in some member states, the recognition of the economic, social, political and environmental benefits of energy efficiency drives ambitious legislation and funding programmes, whereas others just do the bare minimum required by the European Directives.’
Under EU legislation all states are required to submit a NEEAP outlining plans to achieve targets of 9% energy savings by 2016. Ralf Schule of the Wuppertal Institute helped screen NEEAP’s as part of this study and said the following, ‘measures addressing different sectors are often not well aligned with each other or lack a clear design in terms of their implementation at the member state level.’
Energy saving ambitions and measures
The transport sector shows the least ambition across the continent according to the study. There is apparently a lack of political will and a clear strategy to act according to the report collaborators. This is blamed on a lack of long term vision beyond 2020. In the report Denmark and Belgium are praised for their planning and France and the UK are heralded as having a clear future vision. However, Italy, Czech and Slovak republics have been criticised in the report for showing the least progression.
Wuppertal Institute director of energy and climate division, Stefan Thomas said, ‘the establishment of institutions and infrastructures that promote energy efficiency, such as energy or climate protection agencies, the establishment of energy efficiency obligations and/or energy efficiency trusts or funds and the creation of favourable framework conditions for energy services’ are the crucial steps that need to be taken to create effective and integrated policies.
Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd
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