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EUFORIE Report Summary

Project ID: 649342
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUFORIE (European Futures for Energy Efficiency)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The strategic goal of the EUFORIE project is to provide useful and accurate information and knowledge for the EU Commission and the Member States in the field of energy efficiency. The specific and tangible objectives of the EUFORIE project are the following:
1. To provide historical energy and energy efficiency trends and their drivers, synergies and trade-offs between different energy efficiency policies, as well as forward and backward scenarios related to energy efficiency trends and EU policy targets.
2. To provide a sufficient set of data about implementation of energy efficiency. In particular, focus will be placed on specific processes, sectors and entire systems where energy plays a dominant role, in order to understand bottlenecks and efficiency drops and suggest alternatives or improvements.
3. To carry out an analysis of energy efficiency trends from the consumption side (the conversion energy carriers – end uses) across macro-economic sectors and the production side, making useful energy carriers from primary energy sources in terms of efficiency of provision.
4. To identify policy instruments and other measures which are leading to significant reduction in the energy consumption of households.
5. To analyse the relationship between investments and change in energy efficiency as well as to develop indicators to describe changing energy efficiency at the company level.
6. To carry out participatory and strategic foresight activities for European stakeholders of energy efficiency policy and implementation with a target of providing ideas for the energy efficiency vision and strategy in the European Union.
7. To compare the energy efficiency policy instruments and measures and their impacts in China and the European Union.

The EUFORIE Work Packages relate to each other and follow the logic described in the attached figure. The project applies different quantitative and qualitative analysis methods to energy efficiency in the EU and its Member States at different levels (including global level represented by comparison to China) and from different perspectives. These analyses provide input for participatory foresight activities, which serve European energy efficiency vision and strategy process by generating useful information for use. Project management and dissemination of results run parallel to the research and innovation work at all stages of efforts in the EUFORIE project.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project leaflet has been published, and the project website at has been launched during the first reporting period.

Trends of energy efficiency, i.e. energy intensity (final energy consumption divided by GDP in real prices) and the primary energy-final energy consumption ratio, have been identified, and the role of energy efficiency in the change of energy use and carbon dioxide emissions has been analysed by using a new incremental decomposition analysis method developed in the project. The performance of EU-28 Member States has been evaluated, and the results show large differences between EU Member States regarding change in energy use and CO2 emissions and the role of energy efficiency (energy intensity and primary/final energy ratio) in these changes.

Regarding other levels of energy efficiency (process, city, company etc.) and energy metabolism, focus has been on data collection and other preparatory work related to identification of case studies for extended life-cycle analysis, multi-scale energy metabolism analyses and decomposition analyses. Regarding these activities, no deliverables are scheduled during the first reporting period yet.

Energy efficiency policies and measures affecting households in selected EU Member States have been analysed, and the most promising policy instruments have been identified. The analysed EU Member States include Finland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Spain, and the UK. The EU Directives are of crucial importance, because few countries go beyond compliance. Standards are the most effective tool, and their impact can be “lubricated” by financial incentives such as subsidies, and supported by information-related activities. Information and subsidies alone rely too much on assumptions of rational behaviour to achieve maximum efficacy. The social prioritizing permitted by the Directives is almost never implemented. Addressing groups and fostering communication can support energy efficiency measures effectively.

Activities in company level analysis have been started by selecting potential case study companies. No deliverables have been scheduled during the first reporting period.

Preparatory work regarding energy efficiency workshops in Italy, Finland, Germany and Spain has also been started. This work is a part of the participatory foresight activity in the EUFORIE project. No deliverables have been scheduled during the first reporting period.

Chinese energy efficiency policies and their effectiveness has been studied for the comparative analysis between China and the European Union. As a major result, effective energy efficiency policies in China have been identified.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Energy efficiency has been among the energy policy objectives in the European Union Member States since the oil shocks in the 1970s. After the first oil shock “energy saving” was an issue, because decreasing energy use was seen as a way to minimize the economic risk of sudden increase in energy price as demonstrated in 1973. Later, energy efficiency gained popularity because of its relativity. Since the 1990s, energy efficiency has been among the objectives of environmental policies as well, especially regarding targets of decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). Fossil fuel combustion, especially thermal electricity and/or heat production as well as transport, produces a very high share of European GHG emissions.

There is an extremely large literature of energy efficiency covering many fields of science such as technological sciences, natural sciences, and social sciences. EUFORIE studies energy efficiency and energy metabolism at various levels (Community, Member State, region/city, sector, process, company, household) of society from different perspectives (production and consumption of energy) and in different spatial and temporal scales including also the future (as the title of the project strongly indicates), and provides also a comparison of EU as a whole and China. This is the strength of EUFORIE in comparison to many other, much more strictly focused projects and publications. During the first reporting period of the EUFORIE project, progress has been made (1) at the global level by identifying energy efficiency policies and their effectiveness in China, (2) at the national level, in EU-28 Member States regarding energy efficiency trends and their impact on policy targets regarding energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, and in selected Member States regarding energy efficiency policies at the household level and the most promising policy instruments. Moreover, forthcoming progress in other levels has been prepared.

The results gained during the first reporting period of the EUFORIE project are expected to contribute to national energy efficiency policies, especially the selected EU Member States Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Spain and the UK.

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