European competitiveness and energy efficiency: Focusing on the real issue

Jay Owen Resource Efficiency


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A discussion paper prepared by the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) with support from Energifonden. 21 May 2013

The debate on the competitiveness of Europe seems to have started on the wrong foot. In a Council paper, “Energy challenges and policy ”, that is intended to guide the discussion of the European Council May 22, it is repeatedly mentioned that energy prices in Europe are high and it is even stated that the lower gas prices in the US “erode” the competitiveness of European industry. This is a gross exaggeration, in addition to being quite misleading.

Energy efficiency will work in a number of important ways to boost the competitiveness of Europe. It will (A) in the short term, help solve the cost problems; and (B) in the longer term, it will lay the foundation for innovation and establishment of a new and invigorated industry for both sustainable energy services and for high quality products for rapidly changing domestic and global markets.


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