Final Report

Study on the Energy Saving Potential of Increasing Resource Efficiency

  • I Bakas
  • M Herczeg
  • P Strosser
  • C Rynikiewicz
  • A Agenais
  • Thomas Bergmann
  • Dr. Andreas Köhler
    Senior Researcher / Gruppenleiter Chemikalien, Materialien & Technologien Produkte & Stoffströme
  • V Bilsen
  • S Greeven
  • P Debergh
  • Diana Hay
    Wissenschaftliche Assistentin Ressourcen & Mobilität

This study estimates potential energy savings found through increased resource efficiency in select product groups, sectors and examples of industrial symbioses in the EU. Six areasoffer the greatest energy savings from resource-efficiency initiatives: improving general recycling efforts, reducing food waste, raising awareness of water use, increasing wood constructionrates, limiting growth in average EU per-capita living space, and shifting to a resource-efficient modal split in urban transport. Potential savings amountto 5to 9 thousand petajoules or 8% to 15% of EU28 primary energy consumption in 2020, as defined by the EU's energy efficiency target. This comes in addition to reducing environmental pressures of various sorts, providing further rationale for the urgencyto improve resource efficiency.The study identifies barriers to reaching the potential energy savings and recommends appropriate compensatory policy measures. Changes in consumer behaviour, appropriate regulation, investments in innovation,and coordination and networking activities are identified as promoting energy savings in the majority of case studies. Further research could elaborate appropriate policy measures at the European vs. national or regional levels and how to mitigate rebound effects.