EU has failed to decouple electricity consumption from economic growth
The report, Electricity Consumption and Efficiency Trends in the Enlarged European Union, highlights the key findings of an in-depth 2006 survey on electricity consumption in buildings in the EU-25, and the market share of energy-efficient appliances and equipment.
The JRC says electricity consumption grew by 10.8 per cent between 1999 and 2004, which is comparable to the economic growth over the same time frame.
The biggest increase in consumption came from electronic appliances in stand-by mode and the consumption increased faster in the services sector (by 15.8%) than in the industrial sector (by 9.5%).
The average consumption for a single household in the EU-25 was 4098 kWh in 2004. This could be reduced by 800 kWh per house per year, or about 20 % less electricity consumption in each household, if replacement of existing appliances and equipment and a full phase out of incandescent lighting were to be actively promoted in all EU Member States.
Another important finding of the JRC report is that incandescent light bulbs could be a field where modern technology could contribute to more efficient energy use. The JRC report notes that this may be a valid area of savings for Europe, in particular as new, very efficient technologies such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and recently white Light Emitting Diodes [LEDs] are rapidly penetrating the market. Those findings are further evidence that the Greens/EFA action "Ban the bulb" (launched in March 2006) which asked MEPs to sign a written declaration in order to ban incandescent light bulbs in the EU is definitively the right step forward!
According to the report the increase in electricity consumption has "effectively nullified" carbon emission savings made in the other sectors!