News in cooperation with eceee.org
Energy sufficiency, a French political concept still misunderstood in Europe
(EurActiv, 5 Jun 2023) France has made energy sufficiency – the deliberate reduction of energy consumption – one of the three pillars of its decarbonisation strategy, alongside nuclear and renewables. However, Brussels and other European capitals have yet to fully embrace the approach.
The French government presented its energy sobriety plan in October last year, at a time when the country’s nuclear fleet was partly out of service and Europe was facing winter gas shortages following the Russian military aggression in Ukraine.
‘Energy sufficiency’ seeks to influence behavioural change, in a planned and deliberate way, in order to reduce energy consumption. For Paris, the goal was to reduce energy use by 10% by the end of 2024.
The government slated 15 key measures “on the whole range of energy savings” – from reducing heating to a maximum of 19°C in offices, to reducing shower time and encouraging people to carpool.
This was a “first step towards the objective of reducing final energy consumption by 40%” between 2022 and 2050, said the Energy Transition Minister, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, who spoke at a hearing in the French Senate on 24 May.
It was also an important step towards achieving the European objective of reducing energy consumption by 11.7% by 2030, as set out in the Energy Efficiency Directive, which was being revised at the time.
The energy sufficiency library
eceee's energy sufficiency library contains all concept papers, workshop reports and presentations from the Energy Sufficiency project. It also highlights relevant reports from other sources to help you dig deeper and better understand what sufficiency might mean for you and our society.