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EU to unveil energy efficiency plan.

by Colman Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:03:01 AM EST

EurActiv.com reports that the Commission is to unveil a plan based on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency:

A draft of the plan dated 19 June, of which EurActiv has obtained a copy, says "ambitious implementation of existing legislation and new actions" are needed to slash energy consumption in the EU.

However, action needs to reach all sectors of the economy - public sector, households and businesses - if the effects are going to be felt, it says. "Many complementary actions are needed" to produce "the lasting institutions, technical and behavioural changes and market transformations necessary to improve energy-efficiency," the draft reads.

The document spreads action over six years (2007-2012) and consists of four pillars:

  • Behavioural change with awareness campaigns targeted at consumers and the larger public;
  • legal instruments to ensure existing EU laws are used to their "full potential" with a possible revision of targets;
  • financial instruments including tax incentives and using sources of financing such as the EU's regional funds, and;
  • global aspects including trade and development policy, international agreements and treaties to disseminate and export cleaner technologies.

Two sectors are covered in a more particular way, although little detail was yet available:

  • Transport: The Commission will impose European carmakers to reduce CO2 emissions if it becomes clear that the voluntary target of 140g CO2/km is not met by 2008. The agreement is "not on track", says the document, with emissions "far from the target of 120g CO2/km in 2012". other initiatives include: a new framework directive on energy-efficiency in transport; incentives for hybrid and fuel cell cars; differentiated excise tax rates according to fuel efficiency; car sharing schemes; road pricing / congestion taxes; speed control limiters; progressive insurance premium; modal shift in urban areas; traffic optimisation using the Gallileo satellite positioning system; state aid for eco-design by manufacturers, and; the promotion of Flex Fuel cars that can run on a higher mix of biofuels.
  • Energy transformation sector: A study is foreseen to explore the feasibility of minimum efficiency standards for new power stations. Improving efficiency standards in coal-fired power plants is also a possibility being explored.

The target is to save Europe 20% in energy consumption by 2020 against the background of increasing GDP.


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And alternative energy sources?

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:21:45 AM EST
Or public transport?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 08:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both are in the document, but not the quoted parts.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 08:39:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose we're not going to complain about them (apparently) getting serious about this (including obligations on car manufacturers!!!), but it's strange to note that the ongoing public consultation on the Green Paper barely asks citizens their opinion on energy efficiency and above all demand reduction.

Yet before the Consultation is over, here we have policy measures. These are the nice ones. No doubt Barroso's whip will serve to let us know what the less nice ones are.

The public consultation procedure appears meaningless.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:25:31 AM EST
The problem is that the process is broken into too many different cells without a clear overview that I'm aware of.

Oh screw it. Who wants to find someone there and see if there is an overview we're not aware of?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this Energy Efficiency green paper a different one from the one on Energy Policy? Wait, it is.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:37:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, but your links are the wrong way round ;)

It seems the consultation was closed on this one in March this year.

So part of what I said above doesn't hold. Still, demand reduction is kept out of the current Enrgy GP and the consultation poll.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 08:56:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So their official "energy" policy is completely ignoring the findings of their own energy efficiency reports?

Nice.

(I'll qualify this by saying that the Green Paper on Energy itself actually does include a lot on renewables and conservation, but that part is never ever mentioned by the officials or politicians, starting with Barroso, and thus it is indeed not in the questionnaire.

This questionnaire would appear to be driven by the politicians' desires rather than the bureaucratic machine, which di work on the right stuff.)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They appear to consider an energy plan separate to an energy efficiency plan...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they think "efficiency: problem solved! Let's move on".

Or maybe the Energy half of the directorate doesn't know what the Transport part of the directorate is doing, and conversely.

Or maybe it's all for show.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Flag this comment for inclusion in our consultation submission, if we ever get around to it.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:47:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem that one policy is ignoring the other is broader, I'd think. There used to be a plan for this called the Cardiff agenda which had the aim of integrating the environment into other policies. This is, by the way, also a treaty obligation. But if you look at the concrete policies that emerged recently you get the idea that what this accomplished is at most a 'sustainability' box which needs to be checked off. Like, we have thought of this problem, paid lip-service and perhaps even changed our strategy on some points. Box checked, next point.

This is progress when you compare it to not considering the environment. But it is clear that there is no integral thinking; no overarching strategy which really drives us to change towards substainability in more than a marginal manner. You can see this in the energy green paper and you could see it earlier in the mid-term review of the transport white paper.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 06:59:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The target is to save Europe 20% in energy consumption by 2020 against the background of increasing GDP.

What is the energy consumption trend in the recent past?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:33:20 AM EST
There's a presentation at the Green Paper link that has that in it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:50:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So suddenly everybody is using a nice blue background on blockqoutes. Care to share how you do it?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 08:04:28 AM EST
<blockquote class=blue<
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 08:06:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so is there any other colors then blue and grey?


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 09:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now it's blue - now the default - and orange (class=orange) for the original type.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 09:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
was there a secret meeting with cheney and big oil to help decide?  

Behavioural change with awareness campaigns

yup we all need to be one man/woman versions of this...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 09:25:47 AM EST
For a given level of engine technology, CO2 emissions is directly proportional to fuel mileage.

For calibration,

The EU is currently debating a further cut in CO2 emissions to 120 grams per kilometer by the year 2012. This corresponds to consumption of 4.5 liters of diesel fuel per 100 kilometers (52.2 mpg) - a target which despite the best creative efforts and ingenuity of our engineers is impossible to reach for medium and larger vehicles.
http://www.daimlerchrysler.com/dccom/0-5-505393-1-506139-1-0-0-0-0-0-9867-220714-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html

I'm not sure if this is American or Imperial gallons (I suspect American). It's interesting that DaimlerChrysler finds it "impossible" to reach such a goal, even with diesel technology, considering that Toyota and Honda both offer perfectly good four-door, five passenger sedans that get 50 MPG.

In any case, the effect of an aggressive CO2 emissions standard will inevitably be smaller cars.

by asdf on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 09:28:47 AM EST
True, but not for plug-in hybrids, where the calculation is different, obviously.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 09:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia claims that the Skoda Octavia [similar to the VW Passat and Audi A3] diesel model has a fuel efficiency of 53.3mpg. So what can Volkswagen do that Daimler doesn't?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Build small cars?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:17:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]

is impossible to reach for medium and larger vehicles.

The problem is not the target, it's the size of vehicles, of course. They have become bigger and fatter adn heavier and bulkier because gas prices did not increase for close to 15 years when European governments stopped increasing gas taxes.

Europe messed that up (almost) as bad as in the US. In my neighborood, admittedly a fancy one, there's an incredible number of big SUVs and 4x4. You even get to see the big American ones (Dodge Ram and the like) once in a while. That's fact becoming the "normal" car of choice for the upper middle class (along with a Smart or Mini or Twingo as second car).


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As basis for the debate on car mileages, I repost some graphs from an earlier thread:

CO2 emissions in g/100 km of German gasoline cars (blue), diesels (red) and both combined (yellow), taken from the 2005 annual report of KBA the German car authority [pdf!]:

Image Hosting by PicsPlace.to

Development of specific fuel consumption (in l/100 km, small dots/narrow line and scale left; upper line West Germany, lower West & East combined) and average engine power (in kW, large dots/thick line and scale right) for Germany until 1997:

The trend continued. The average specific consumption of all new cars in 2005 was 7.1 l/100 km. The graph would be not too different from the following (just a little higher), which is for all new cars sold by manufacturers in VDIK, the industry association of the daughters of foreign car manufacturers in Germany:

From a page debunking the CDU party's anti-ecological-tax campaign, two graphs (first West Germany, rest unified Germany) putting average yearly fuel consumption against average fuel price (DM/l, divide in two for Euro) in Germany:


Average fuel efficiency (in miles per gallon) of US cars, light trucks and combination of both:

MPG--l/100 km conversion:

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:33:47 AM EST
So diesel engines made a discrete jump with the big switch to direct injection in the late 90s, and have been declining since - I suspect because of the "arms race" of engines gettign steadily bigger.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The KBA yearly report implies a sector shift for Germany, e.g. gasoline engines are ever more tipically in small and mini cars, Diesels in bigger and luxury cars.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:01:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MPG--l/100 km conversion:

Divide 240 by one number to have the other
6l/100km = 40mpg
8l/100km = 30mpg
10l/100km = 24mpg

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:40:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for forgetting to finish that part. More precisely the US MPG--l/100 km conversion is:

[value in l/100 km] = (100*231*0.254^3/1.609344)/[value in MPG] 

that is

[value in l/100 km] ~= 235.2/[value in MPG]

[value in MPG] ~= 235.2/[value in l/100 km]



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:56:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a UK gallon is 1.201 US gallons.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 10:57:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
yeah, but 240 is easier to make approximate conversions...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:12:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Economist... <snark>

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many significant figures can you do in your head, astrophysicist?

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:25:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I'm used to 3-5, sometimes more. (3.1416, 365.2422, 6.6726x10-11, 6.626x10-34)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one of the things that annoys me most about most economist - their inability to understand significant numbers...

Physicist would be more appropriate. It's my physics teacher in my first year of lycée (5Th year of high school out of 7) that drilled that into our heads.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 12:02:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in this case, to get the significant two digits of the quantity right, you need three digits of the converson factor (two digits is 2% error).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 02:17:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell me about it! When you say "significant number" they just look at you like you are from another planet.

It's a good thing I also had a stern physics teacher in school (who by the way, as I found out recently, is a high ranking freemason. The world is a strange, and small, place.)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 05:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW from the US graph, one can see that overall, nothing much changed since the second oil shock, thus fuel efficiency doesn't change the interpretation of the following graph that inflation-corrected fuel costs surpassed the early eighties record level:

There would be further factors, though. On one hand, we could separate income classes -- and in the bulk where real income increase was modest, one would expect less low-mileage (luxury, sports, SUV) cars. Say if there is an income class buying cars with an average MPG like passenger cars on that graph (e.g. growing about 20%), and 10% increase in earnings, then involving that in the deflator, the corrected March 1981 level would be $3.63, still not reached. On the other hand, there is another factor ignored so far: the rise in driving distances. I have no figures handy, though.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 11:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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