Business leaders push for energy efficiency ahead of EU meeting in Dublin
The business community has calculated that the efficient use of energy over the next 17 years can offset the investment required for energy infrastructure in Europe by €30bn (£25.6m) a year.
In addition to decreasing the need for new energy infrastructure, reducing demand will lead to a lower price tag for energy of around €50bn by 2030, a figure equivalent to the electricity sales in France for 2011.
According to the EU-ASE, a grouping of business leaders, politicians and campaigners, including Siemens and Philips Lighting, these numbers also highlight that energy efficiency, together with renewable energy sources, ensures greater security of supply and increases energy self-sufficiency in the EU.
EU-ASE president, Monica Frassoni, said: "A legislative framework for energy efficiency is the most urgent priority in the European energy strategy as energy efficiency is a more cost-effective investment than any other one in energy generation. It is a mistake to see a trade-off between the need for a joint climate and energy legislation and the need to restore economic competitiveness.
"Energy, environmental and industrial policies act as a beneficial lever for innovation and competitiveness. The new integrated policy framework for climate and energy for the period up to 2030 offers an important opportunity to set a binding energy savings targets that will ensure security for investments and boost markets," she added.
European Energy and Environment Ministers are meeting in Dublin this week to discuss, among other items, the Commission Consultation Paper on post-2020 vision.
Following a meeting in Dublin on 18 April with the EU-ASE Irish Minister for Energy, Pat Rabbitte, said: "The economic rationale for reducing energy consumption is widely accepted. Energy efficiency investment remains the most cost-effective means of reducing green-house gas emissions and achieving our climate change objectives.
"Additionally, it has positive impacts for enhanced business competitiveness and insulating us against future energy prices shocks. In chairing the discussion on the 2030 energy framework I will be reminding colleagues of the benefits of energy efficiency in meeting our Presidency objectives for stability, jobs and growth. In that regard I want to commend the EU-ASE representatives for their constructive input to the debate".