Sunday, August 20th, 2017

The wasted energy: A metric to set up appropriate targets in our path towards fully renewable energy systems

Publication date: Available online 17 August 2015
Author(s): Juan José Vinagre Díaz, Mark Richard Wilby, Ana Belén Rodríguez González
By 2020 Europe has to increase its energy efficiency and share of renewables in 20%. However, even accomplishing these challenging objectives Europe will be effectively wasting energy as we demonstrate in this paper. In our way towards a fully renewable scenario, we need at least to stop wasting energy in order to guarantee the energy supply needed for growth and comfort. We waste energy when we employ more primary energy than the final energy we ultimately use and this excess cannot be reutilized. In this paper we propose the WE (wasted energy) as a novel metric to measure the performance of energy systems and set up appropriate targets. The WE incorporates information about energy efficiency and renewable sources. Unlike European legislation, the WE considers them in an integrated way. This approach will help Member States to exploit their intrinsic capabilities and design their optimum strategy to reach their objectives. Using the information in Eurostat, we calculate the WE of Member States in EU-28 and their evolution. We also analyze illustrative examples to highlight strategies to reduce the WE, study the connection between economic development and WE, and provide a tool to diagnose the potential of improvement of an energy system.

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