30 January 2019 - Pioneering research on 2050 energy savings potentials

Pioneering research on 2050 energy savings potentials

A new Fraunhofer ISI study assesses the 2050 energy savings potentials, considering impacts of new societal trends.  It is pioneering work in a field that merits increasing attention.

Brussels and Karlsruhe, 30 January 2019 – A new Study by the Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research ISI, commissioned by the Coalition for Energy Savings, finds that tapping all available cost-effective savings potentials across sectors could halve the EU’s energy demand by 2050 and provides new insights in how societal trends - such as digitalisation, new economic and social models, the transition to a circular and decarbonised economy and a new quality of life - could further enhance those potentials.

The starting point of the Study is the bottom-up modelling of the techno-economic energy savings potentials by 2050 in the Removing Market Barriers Scenario. The Study shows that more than half of the final energy demand could be saved with measures that are cost-effective or near cost-effective, thus deliver a financial net benefit if market barriers are removed.

The researchers moved into uncharted waters when assessing the additional impact of new societal trends. These trends are already impacting all parts of the economy. For the first time their impact on the development and deployment of energy efficiency technologies, services and solutions is systematically investigated. Informed by available studies for individual societal trends such as digitalisation, Fraunhofer ISI estimated the impacts on energy demand, showing that the energy savings potentials could be increased to 67% savings if the societal trends are developed in a way to maximise energy efficiency. In case the trends develop in the opposite direction the savings observed in the Removing Market Barriers Scenario are reduced to 32%. For example, autonomous driving may decrease or increase energy demand.

The aim of the Study was to look at 2050 from an energy efficiency and savings perspective following the EU's principle of putting energy efficiency first. Energy efficiency is an enabler for an energy transition that meets the needs of people and business and respects planetary boundaries and is aligned with the Paris climate objectives.

Prof. Wolfgang Eichhammer, Head of the Competence Center Energy Policy and Energy Markets, Fraunhofer ISI, says:
“The research on the impacts of New Societal Trends is new and many impacts on energy demand are still rather unknown. However, this is a highly relevant topic: if policies are not designed to properly handle such trends which are largely linked to behavioural aspects, acceptance and decision making, the trends could strongly increase energy demand, counteracting achievements from technical measures such as building insulation.”

Adrian Joyce, Chair of The Coalition for Energy Savings, says:
“Energy efficiency is the bedrock for a fair, fast and cost-effective energy transition. The Fraunhofer study shows cutting edge results and we are looking forward to working with these findings to develop our 2050 Energy Efficiency Vision.”

Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of The Coalition for Energy Savings, says:
“This study shows for the first time the importance of considering energy efficiency in managing societal trends in order to make the energy transition attractive for citizens and businesses.” 

Carlos Calvo Ambel from Transport & Energy says:
“Saving energy makes transport cheaper to use and run, and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. One key tech development is the electrification of mobility, given the innate efficiency of electric engines against combustion ones. Another societal trend, shared mobility, can have positive effects too, but only if promoted with the right policies. Europe needs strong political support for shared, electric, more efficient mobility.” 

Bernard Respaut, Chief Executive at European Copper Institute says:
“This study once again underlines that cost-effective energy efficiency measures are key to achieving the clean energy transition.”

Jan te Bos, Director General at Eurima says:
“This innovative study highlights the magnitude of untapped energy savings potential in our building stock. Un-locking this potential has to be the cornerstone of any long-term Energy & Climate strategy.”


Media contact:
Almut Bonhage | +32 2 235 20 17 | almut.bonhage@energycoalition.eu | @EUenergysavings

Scientific contact:
Wolfgang Eichhammer | +49 721 6809 158 | wolfgang.eichhammer@isi.fraunhofer.de | @FraunhoferISI


Notes for editors:

The Coalition for Energy Savings strives to make energy efficiency and savings the first consideration of energy policies and the driving force towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European Union. Its membership unites businesses, professionals, local authorities, cooperatives and civil society organisations in pursuit of this goal.

Coalition members represent:

  • more than 500 associations, 200 companies, 1,500 cooperatives
  • 15 million supporters and 1 million citizens as members of cooperatives
  • 2,500 cities and towns in 30 countries in Europe

Members of the Coalition:

ACE - Architects’ Council of Europe | APPLiA - Home Appliance Europe | BPIE - Buildings Performance Institute Europe (advisory member) | CAN - Climate Action Network – Europe | CEE Bankwatch Network | ClientEarth | Climate Alliance | E.V.V.E. - European Association for the Consumption-based Billing of Energy Costs | E3G | eceee - European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy | ECOS - European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation | EEB - European Environmental Bureau | EFIEES - European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services | ehi - Association of the European Heating Industry | Energy Cities | EPEE - European Partnership for Energy and the Environment | eurima - European Insulation Manufacturers Association | EuroACE - The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings | European Alliance to Save Energy | European Climate Foundation | European Copper Institute - Copper Alliance | Friends of the Earth Europe | Glass for Europe | Housing Europe | PU Europe - European Association of Polyurethane Insulation Manufacturers | RAP - The Regulatory Assistance Project (advisory member) | REScoop.eu | T&E - Transport & Environment | WWF European Policy Office


Fraunhofer ISI:

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.




Wednesday, 30 January, 2019