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Cost-benefit analysis of projects supported under the THERMIE programme (1990-1994)

Many of the major projects supported under the European Community's programme for the promotion of energy technology in Europe (1990-1994), otherwise known as the THERMIE programme, are still in their early stages so the long-term impact can only be estimated. However, a compr...
Many of the major projects supported under the European Community's programme for the promotion of energy technology in Europe (1990-1994), otherwise known as the THERMIE programme, are still in their early stages so the long-term impact can only be estimated. However, a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for projects supported between 1990 and 1994 has examined their potential for energy savings and/or substitution: the results predict a yearly energy saving of about 1 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) for the THERMIE projects alone.

Beyond this result, it is assumed that demonstration and promotional activities conducted under THERMIE, in order to encourage the application technologies, contribute ultimately to the replication of projects by other operators throughout the Union. According to a conservative estimate of a replication ratio, the cost-benefit analysis carried out suggests that THERMIE projects could lead to yearly energy savings of 12.5 Mtoe. Aggregated over the lifetime of the technologies, these impacts would add up in total to 235 Mtoe. If transferred into the reduction of gaseous emissions, the following significant impacts could be achieved:

- 944 million tonnes of CO2;
- 7.1 million tonnes of SO2;
- 3.1 million tonnes of Nox;
- 0.43 million tonnes of volatile organic compounds (VOC);
- 2.3 million tonnes of CO.

The analysis also suggests that many THERMIE projects have excellent prospects of being turned into "commercial successes". It anticipates an increase of ECU 2,065 million in EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of the programme, with investment by EU enterprises in these technologies reaching a total of ECU 6 million.

The cost-benefit analysis further points to the continuing benefits that will result from the THERMIE programme. From those projects supported in the period 1990-1994, every ECU of Community support is expected to generate, on average, ECU 27 of benefit, including further increases in efficiency as well as more reductions in gaseous emissions.
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