The European chemical industry is the world’s top exporter and importer of chemicals, supplying virtually all sectors of the EU economy with innovative, energy-efficient and sustainable solutions.
- Energy is a foundation stone of the European Union.
- Energy is the one glaring exception to the bloc’s single market.
- The European Commission is out to change that by creating an Energy Union.
As an energy-intensive industry, we need reliable supplies of competitively priced energy. We compete, on price, in global commodity markets. Global demand for chemical products is set to grow and our European economy can participate in this growth with carbon efficient manufacturing.
Towards a low carbon economy
The EU has set itself energy and climate targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050.
Targets for 2030:
- 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- At least 27% EU energy from renewables
- Increase energy efficiency by 27-30%.
For 30 November 2016 the Commission has announced more detailed elements for the European Energy Union. Industry will judge the individual proposals concerning their consistency with the three headline objectives to ensure secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy for EU citizens and businesses.
Industry shares the EU vision of competitive energy markets with energy flowing freely across national borders in the EU.
One of the elements of the announced EU Energy Union policy package is energy efficiency. The chemical industry is a solution provider of energy efficiency and energy saving solutions throughout the economy. Policies fostering energy savings i.e. in transport and buildings will open new market opportunities for the chemical industry. At the same time, policies should safeguard industry access to competitive, reliable energy so as to remain able to provide such services to society.
The chemical industry itself has already made considerable energy savings, promoting its benefits within our sector through the SPiCE3 project, and has accumulated knowledge and experience that it can share with other sectors where efficiency potential is yet untapped.
Market design is a further element of the announced Energy Union policy package. Adopting a forward-looking decarbonised electricity production in the EU, the new energy (electricity) market design is supposed to accommodate an increasing renewable source (RES) share in the EU electricity production of 27% by 2030. Cefic welcomes the move to reform the energy market and believes that industry and EU decision-makers can work together to develop a fully liberalised European energy market that is designed to lead to uninterrupted, competitively priced, secure energy. Industry will judge policy proposals against their ability to provide abundant, reliable and competitive, sustainable energy for all EU consumers. Support schemes for mature technologies and other discriminating practices should be phased out and abandoned progressively.
A better way – the low cost path
We strongly believe the way to achieve the move towards a low carbon economy is to fully expose renewables to the market which would drive down costs. Cefic supports a path to a low carbon economy under which the aim of the policy is to ‘innovate down’ the cost of decarbonisation to make it competitive, rather than to increase the cost of essential feedstocks and energy.