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EiiF supports EU initiative to become climate-neutral by 2050

07 Feb 2020

EiiF supports EU initiative to become climate-neutral by 2050

The European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF) supports strongly the initiative to write into law for Europe’s economy and society to become climate-neutral by 2050 and provided feedback to the EU Commission’s Public Consultation on 6 February 2020.

Energy Efficiency First

EiiF being active in the field of energy efficiency and energy auditing in industry sees great opportunities in the “Energy Efficiency First” principle. It offers a powerful contribution to make the energy transition fair, fast and attractive. The cleanest energy is the one not used. Besides, energy efficiency offers well known multiple benefits of which competitiveness is just one.

We recommend a binding 40% energy efficiency target for 2030

We recommend that the new climate law shows how to deliver on the target and promotes the Energy Efficiency First principle. Our Energy auditing experience (TIPCHECK) shows that large cost-effective energy savings potentials are not tapped today. Studies like the Fraunhofer ISI (Jan 2019) predict that tapping cost-effective potentials would lead to halving energy demand by 2050 compared to business as usual, and deliver 40% energy savings by 2030, well above the 32.5% EU target. Against this background we recommend making a 40% energy efficiency target binding for 2030.

We ask for a consistency in the law – same contribution from all

In addition, we ask for a consistency in the law asking the same contribution from all sectors and stakeholders. For the building sector minimum efficiency limits exist: The EPBD foresees that Member States “shall take the necessary measures to ensure that minimum energy performance requirements for buildings or building units are set with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels”.  This leads to an average maximum heat loss of 4 W/m2 (for walls). In industry nothing comparable and concrete exists today.


Building Industry Standards

Lack of minimum insulation performance obligations in industry leads to energy waste

A standard (AGI Q 101) for power plants asks for an insulation performance of only 150 W/m2 but companies are free to decide whether they use it or not. About 10% of equipment in industry is not insulated at all and the existing insulation levels correspond to the energy efficiency class F or below according to the German Insulation Standard VDI 4610. In fact, industry wastes about 620 PJ energy and therefore emits needlessly almost 50 Mt of CO2 every year - equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 10 million households or the emissions of 18 million cars (Climate Protection with Rapid Payback, Ecofys 2012).


German Insulation Standards

Ambitious policies need to put the necessary and existing technologies to work

This particular insulation experience supports what IEA has analysed in its 2019 Energy Efficiency Report and what Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director claims: “The historic slowdown in energy efficiency in 2018 – the lowest rate of improvement since the start of the decade – calls for bold action by policy makers and investors. We can improve energy efficiency by 3% per year simply through the use of existing technologies and cost-effective investments. There is no excuse for inaction: ambitious policies need to be put in place to spur investment and put the necessary technologies to work on a global scale.”

Industrial insulation could cut EU Emissions at least by 1% and 49 Mt CO2

IEA’s recommendations are further backed up by our experience: Insulation improvements in industry usually come with payback times of only two years, 95% of the plants we tipchecked bore and bear cost-effective potentials and finally 3 out of 4 TIPCHECK clients react and invest (TIPCHECK Report, EiiF 2016). EiiF estimates that by improving industrial insulation performance to cost-effective levels, EU emissions could be cut by at least 1% and 49 Mt CO2 (EEA: 2016, total GHG = 4.293 Mt). But tapping the existing potentials in industry will take too long if not an ambitious climate law will effectively accelerate this process. With the VDI 4610 standard the insulation industry has developed a tool which corresponds to the EPBD and the Ecodesign methodology. We strongly recommend integrating this regulatory tool in the climate law at least like the EPBD regulation.

Energy Classes

Insulation and other BATs are ready to deliver fast and cost-effectively

We are convinced that not only insulation, but many other Best Available Techniques are also ready to very fast and cost-effectively deliver. We therefore recommend an enforced EED Article 8 making any measure with a simple payback time of less than five years obligatory. In addition, SMEs should as well fall under the Article 8 but connected to motivating support. And finally, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency must become part of the IED or better in all BREF documents, vertical and horizontal, as we believe this will accelerate and effectively help to tap the energy efficiency and emission reduction potential in industry.