A greater drive for energy efficiency will be a major plank of the energy policy of the Danish Presidency of the EU, a leading official told electricity experts yesterday.

Speaking at a Eurelectric conference in Brussels, Hans Jørgen Koch, Deputy State Secretary of the Danish Energy Agency, said that there would be a particular focus on the target of increasing energy efficiency by 20 per cent by the year 2020 as this would reduce consumers vulnerability to supply constraints and price fluctuations, over which they had less control.

Energy efficiency is often seen as one of the low hanging fruits in terms of addressing climate change goals and the Danes see an opportunity to make some progress in this area in the six months they will be leading the EU. Koch also saw a role for consumers in helping deal with the growth in intermittent generation in the system by adopting a more flexible approach to power demand, with the help of smart meters and smart grids.

Koch said that one of the main targets would be to work towards, “the great energy transition”, which he said included meeting EU policy targets on electrification in transport and heating, growth in renewable energy sources for power generation and greater use of combined heat and power.

“Despite the challenges the EU faces, climate change is still an imperative and decarbonisation of the electricity sector is required.” He insisted that there was a need for more renewables in the energy mix, both wind power and solar and noted that national subsidies could be reduced as technology costs came down and implantation became more cost-competitive.

The other cornerstone of the Danes approach to European energy policy will be to improve the competitive market through pushing through a full implementation of the Third Energy Package and improving measurement data to reduce barriers to entry among power suppliers

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