Electricity for more Efficiency 

Electric Technologies and their Energy Savings Potential

This joint report undertaken by the Union of the Electricity Industry - EURELECTRIC and the International Union for Electricity Applications (UIE), aims primarily at raising awareness, on a scientific basis but through language accessible to non-experts, on the significant benefits of electric technologies and their energy savings potential.

The enlarged European Union faces enormous challenges in the energy and environmental fields. According to the latest figures published by the European Commission (“European Energy and Transport: Trends to 2030”), between 2000 and 2030, final energy demand is likely to increase by 29%; electricity demand will increase by 59.5%; CO2 emissions are forecast to increase by 13.7%; and import dependency will reach 67.5%. The report, which is divided into six main areas, i.e. lighting, motors and drives, transport, domestic applications, heat pumps and industry, confirms that electric technologies are an important factor for tackling these issues, pointing out the significant savings that it is possible to realise in existing electrical applications, achieving the same level of comfort, or industrial efficiency, with less electricity.

Also in case of electric technologies with no direct substitution, the report indicates remarkable improvements in efficiency over the past years and a strong potential for the years to come. The report shows the potential of electric technologies to replace less efficient technologies, directly fuelled by oil or gas, and to achieve improved productivity, better quality, less impact on the environment and consequently positive effects on health. Increased use of these electric technologies goes hand in hand with decreasing overall energy consumption.

To increase market penetration of electric technologies, authorities need to create stable, simple and transparent market-based regulatory models. The EU institutions should examine where there are inconsistencies and overlaps between EU standards, policies and measures on energy efficiency. These efforts should be coupled with appropriate R&D funds, encouraging genuine co-operation between universities, research laboratories, manufacturers and the electricity industry. We consider these as fundamental elements for the take-off of existing and future electric technologies. This approach will favour European companies and their products in the global marketplace, as well as contributing to the EU’s Lisbon objectives via increased high value employment, and to its Kyoto and Johannesburg commitments.

We would like to thank all the experts involved for their enthusiasm and valuable insights. We hope you find the conclusions useful in your future deliberations.