The interim report explores the development of energy efficiency in different sectors
The energy efficiency working group appointed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in November 2018 submitted its interim report to the Ministry on 29 March 2019. The report provides a description of the progress made, and estimates of the preliminary results and future work. The working group will submit its final report by 30 September 2019.
The working group’s task was to discuss the opportunities of improving energy efficiency in 2021–2030 and to assess the need for amendment of the existing Energy Efficiency Act and, if necessary, start preparations for the legislative amendment. The working group is to propose measures that will enable Finland to achieve the energy savings targets, defined in Article 7 of the revised Energy Efficiency Directive, over the 2021–2030 period. Five thematic expert groups consisting of key players in the sector will be assisting the energy efficiency working group.
According to the interim report, the effectiveness of the steering measures available to promote energy efficiency varies by sector. Voluntary energy efficiency agreements and energy audits are fairly effective, when supported by energy aid.
The expert working group for the industry sector recognised the significance of the existing steering methods and identified opportunities for enhancing their efficiency. For energy efficiency agreements, such measures could include extending the scope of agreements, more effective reporting, and ensuring resources for implementation. To lower the threshold for investments to increase efficiency, a new type of energy aid should be launched to help explore the feasibility and profitability of innovative solutions. Particularly good potential was identified in the use of surplus heat and drying processes.
According to the expert group on transport, the steering methods currently available in the sector have not been adequate to reduce transport energy consumption. In this sector, it is essential to apply steering measures that will make the vehicle fleet more energy efficient. Other ways to improve the energy efficiency of transport include more efficient use of transport vehicles and more choice in transport modes.
The expert group on services identified three themes: changes and challenges associated with energy efficiency operating models, competence, and data & technology. The group also discussed the role of financing and subsidies in the development of operating models and technologies, and concluded that the fourth theme was a cross-sectoral one that was relevant to all expert groups: financing. The world is changing rapidly, and society is increasingly dependent on electricity; therefore the steering measures need to be fine-tuned and sufficient resources allocated.
The expert group on consumers singled out three main themes that needed further investigation: the servicification of energy efficiency, for instance housing and transport services; changes and challenges associated with technologies and financing, and the changes and challenges associated with consumer habits, competence and opportunities for action. These themes are linked to the present energy transition, which consumers can significantly expedite.
Next, the energy efficiency working group will assess the effectiveness of new and existing measures to promote energy efficiency, which the expert groups have put together in their respective sectors. Special attention will be paid to cross-sectoral steering measures such as competence and communication, which represent key requirements for the implementation of other measures. Impact assessments will be prepared for measures selected for further investigation, with special focus on energy savings, carbon dioxide cuts, and feasibility. More detailed descriptions of the measures identified during the assessment will be available in the working group’s final report to be published in the autumn.
Juhani Tirkkonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 2140 (chair of the working group)
Pia Outinen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7229 (expert secretary of the working group)
Päivi Laitila, Director, Motiva, tel. +358 29 525 5471 (expert secretary of the working group)