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EU-MERCI - EU coordinated MEthods and procedures based on Real Cases for the effective implementation of policies and measures supporting energy efficiency in the Industry

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EU-MERCI (EU-MERCI - EU coordinated MEthods and procedures based on Real Cases for the effective implementation of policies and measures supporting energy efficiency in the Industry)

Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2018-01-31

The final energy consumption of industry in Europe accounts for 25% of the total, with a GHG emission of 20% of the total (Eurostat), but 60% of the potential for EE improvement is still unexploited (IEA). This is particularly true for SMEs, which are the backbone of the EU economy and account for 30% of the energy savings potential. In this context, the reduction of energy consumption in industrial processes plays a crucial role in EE programs and policies, as it is stated in the Directive 2012/27/EU and in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan.
In spite of this, a comprehensive sharing of harmonized policies and implementation guidelines cannot be found at the EU level.
EU-MERCI aims at filling this gap, by proposing and making available online a series of EE “Good practices”, validated in-field, and assisting industries to effectively put into practice and monitor sustainable EE improvements in their processes, in application of the obligation schemes and/or alternative measures adopted in the respective MS.
EU-MERCI also has the goal to support the action of the decision makers aimed at creating new effective EE supporting schemes and to improve existing ones, in order to make them more effective, transparent and responsive to the real needs of the industrial end-users.
The activities of EU-MERCI are organized in work packages (WP).
WP1 has the goal to carry out a comparative analysis of EEOS and alternative measures in different MS: the results showed substantial differences among the identified measures as regards the methodology for energy savings calculations, monitoring and reporting, thus clearly revealing the lack of a common EU approach to EE measures. This top-down analysis was complemented by a survey aimed at monitoring market perception of barriers and benefits associated to the implementation of EE measures in industry in each MS.
WP2 has the goal to build an online platform in which the results of the project can be organised and made ready for subsequent analyses and for free access by external users: it is called the EIEEP (European Industrial Energy Efficiency good Practices) Platform and it is composed by a Database of EE projects implemented in industry and a library divided by sectors, in which it is possible to examine the selected “Good Practices” (GPs). Sectoral technical analyses and national economic evaluations are also available for all the considered sectors and MS.
In WP3, the activities were focused on the inventory of the existing datasets and on the analysis of data related to EE projects implemented in industry. The main result is the identification of a common set of harmonized information suitable to describe an EE intervention and the building of sector-specific taxonomies addressing the single phases of each process: this approach allowed to overcome the hamper of the diversity of the national data, converting them into a logic appropriate for the EU-MERCI analysis.
WP4 has the goal to extract the GPs from the Database of implemented EE projects. The definition of GP, according to EU-MERCI, entails energy efficiency, economic feasibility and environmental sustainability concepts, as well as other factors impacting the concerned process, the industry sector and the energy system.
The defined methodology to extract the GPs from the Database is based on 3 complementary pillars (KPIs-based analysis, Statistical analysis and Engineering evaluation). In order to assess the replicability of the GPs in different MS, some statistical analyses (focused on economic and energy performances) were carried out to support the computation of the KPIs, providing a complete picture of the EE trends and needs at EU level. A series of “Best Practices” were also extracted from literature, in order to compare them with the GPs.
WP5 has the goal to validate, by direct assessment of the stakeholders, the GPs proposed by EU-MERCI and to estimate their possible impact against a series of elaborated scenarios of policies and related implementation mechanisms. The reference scenarios were developed, basing on the policy analysis performed in WP1, on a number of appropriate indicators measuring the suitability of the policies to attain country specific EE goals by exploiting EU-MERCI solutions and other external sources. An extensive validation of the GPs was carried out in the agrifood sector by stakeholders in 5 different EU MS, in order to assess their in-field applicability and sustainability. Positive feedbacks were received by several stakeholders, including sector associations and ESCOs. The results from the elaborated scenarios and validation activities were used to derive a series of recommendations for the different types of stakeholders, SMEs and policy makers in particular.
Dissemination and exploitation is the goal of WP6. Many events were organized with a focus both on the dissemination of EU-MERCI outputs (the EIEEP Platform in particular) and the Capacity Building, addressing the EU-MERCI Stakeholder Community which was constituted in the first year of the project: they range from European webinars to national workshops, through face-to-face meetings and calls with relevant stakeholders. Capacity Building was mainly focused on the so-called “Followers” countries, where EE schemes are not yet well developed. In these countries, the policies and schemes adopted in other EU MS and validated by EU-MERCI can be used to improve the existing situation and support the implementation of EU-MERCI GPS.
EU-MERCI incorporates several innovative elements that go beyond the state-of-the-art from a technological and energy perspective.
Definition of “Good practices”: many of the current recommendations for the improvement of EE in industries are based on standardized and theoretical (often outdated) studies. On the opposite, the approach of EU-MERCI addresses the EE issue by investigating real implemented EE projects to identify a series of validated GPs, whose efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability is measured by technical, economic and environmental related key performance indicators.
Bottom-up approach through questionnaires: EU-MERCI has implemented surveys aiming to collect the point of view of the stakeholders at EU level about barriers and benefits associated to the implementation of EE measures in industry in the MS.
Engagement campaigns. As there is a considerable diversity of stakeholders, EU-MERCI has carefully analysed their characteristics and classified them according to their possible role in the project on the basis of the IN-IN (INfluence–INterest) matrix, a methodology which can be applied to other fields too.
Homogenization process and taxonomy development: in fact, the diversity of the way in which data about EE interventions in industry are collected and stored on a national scale have shown the difficulty to make a comparative analysis. The work done by EU-MERCI allows the integration of data from any sources, identifying the data necessary to provide a linear but comprehensive picture of any EE project.
Identification of the KPIs necessary to quantify the benefits coming from EE projects and suitably ranking them: as the comparison among data from different sources is difficult, EU-MERCI has planned a quantitative approach based on the calculation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which allows the quantification of the most important technical parameters complemented by socio-economic indexes.