• Client: European Commission - DG Energy
  • Implementation period: 2015 - 2016 (Completed)
  • Geographic coverage: European Union

Evaluation of primary energy factor calculation options for electricity

The European Commission has set the target in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) DIRECTIVE 2012/27/EU to reduce EU primary energy consumption in 2020 by 20% in comparison to given baseline development. Because the target is defined on primary energy level, the primary energy factor (PEF) that is applied for electricity is a crucial aspect in the overall assessment of energy saving measures that affect electricity demand. The goal of this study was to evaluate different options for the calculation of the primary energy factor (PEF) for electricity, in the context of the Energy Efficiency Directive 27/2012/EU.

The analysis in the project shows that no PEF calculation method can claim absoluteness. Therefore the calculation method for the PEF of electricity should be selected carefully and in line with the central goals of its application. The authors’ preference is to include all non-renewable resource consumption in the calculation process in a simplified life cycle perspective. This leads to the lowest PEF of electricity and the most appropriate comparison with other fuels delivering services such as heat. It should be calculated as uniform value for the entire European region. However, due to the importance of the underlying projection of the development of the electricity sector we strongly recommend a regular review and adjustment of the PEF of electricity.