Energy efficiency is key to the transition towards a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system.
In December 2018, European institutions adopted the Energy Efficiency Directive, that was part of the Clean energy package and set a binding energy efficiency target for the EU by 2030 of 32.5%, with a clause for an upwards revision by 2023.
Implementing energy efficiency measures remains important to save energy and reduce GHG emissions. However, this will not be sufficient to reach climate neutrality by 2050 since energy will always be needed for production, transport and heating purposes.
New disruptive and innovative technologies are energy intensive and are likely to drive up energy demand. In the EED, the energy efficiency target is translated into a limit on energy consumption, including energy consumption of industry. Cefic considers that an increase of the energy efficiency target will be counter-productive for the achievement of the GHG abatement target, as it will slow down direct electrification of industrial processes, as well as other decarbonisation options such as circularity, use of hydrogen for high temperature heat and Carbon capture and Sequestration (CCS).
For many years, the EU chemical industry has made strenuous efforts to improve energy efficiency by reducing its fuel and power energy consumption per unit of production. In 2017, energy intensity, in the chemical industry was 55% lower than in 1991.