Sustainable Development: The Energy Efficiency Challange
- Posted by R2ES Laboratory
- On 23 Ottobre 2018
- 0 Comments
The “energy efficiency challenge” is one of the biggest tests faced by Europe today. The well-being of people, economy and industry depends on a secure, sustainable and affordable energy production. The road to safer and more sustainable energy systems is still long. However, decisions to take the right way are urgently required in order to stimulate the good functioning of the European energy market and not to endanger the competitiveness of Europe. Fortunately, Europe 2020 and 2050 Energy Roadmap paves the way to a solid and ambitious European energy policy.
The estimates of the European Commission show that the average energy savings for a family could amount to € 1000 per year. In this context, it is important to develop innovative solutions and use appropriate assessment tools that can support actions in the medium and long terms. These efforts mainly concern with the increasing use of renewable energy sources and rational and efficient use of the produced energy. In these areas, important decisions have to be taken also in terms of a drastic reduction of emissions to mitigate the climate change. The first part of the recent IPCC report, suggests that the renewable energies will grow from their current share of 30% to 80% of the energy sector by 2050.
The production of energy from fossil fuels should be “phased out almost completely by 2100”. As reported in the European Commission’s document we need a radical change in the policies of research and innovation. Europe has achieved an international leadership in terms of research on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Thus the main goal is to maintain this leadership position while avoiding to be overtaken by competitors. In this context, the application and development of a methodology such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) must be endorsed as a powerful scientific tool that can support the decision policies in the energy efficiency context.
Indeed, the LCA is the most mature and widely used method for quantitative and comprehensive environmental assessments of product, process or service systems. Although at the beginning LCA was developed for the study of single products and manufacturing processes in industry, in recent years there has been a shift in applying it to larger scale decisional contexts.