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Study probes greener EU energy futures

(01 Sep 06) Higher efficiency, more renewables, seen as key to lower consumption, reduced oil dependency

Combined efforts for greater energy efficiency and more renewables would best achieve the EU’s goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and foreign energy dependence, according to European commission predictions.

According to a study released last week, under this scenario, Europe could hold CO2 emissions below 1990 levels from 2010 onwards, while bringing overall energy demand back below its 1990 level by 2030.

EU dependence on fossil fuel imports would be limited to 59% compared with 65% under a baseline scenario assuming incomplete implementation of laws on renewable electricity and biofuels.

Under a scenario of strong energy efficiency measures without a big push on renewables energy demand would fall, but by less. Carbon intensity would decline only slightly, while Europe’s dependence on energy imports would increase.

In contrast, promoting renewables without improving energy efficiency much would produce significant improvement in carbon intensity and a lower dependence on imports but do little to rein in energy demand.

Follow-up: European Commission , tel: +32 2 299 1111, energy pages and study.

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