The reform of the European Emission Trading System (ETS) is one of the cornerstone of the European climate policy and if well implemented, one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions. The implementation of the ETS Reform (Phase IV) will be vital in letting us deliver the targets agreed during the Paris COP21 Climate Change Conference. Our association is now monitoring and supporting with technical know-how the European Commission in the implementation of important elements of the adopted proposal including new (updated) benchmarks and the possibility to increase production via creeping projects.
State aid rules (for indirects carbon costs)
Following the adoption of the ETS Phase IV, the indirect carbon cost compensation regime may change as soon as the state aid guidelines will be updated. Our association represents one of the most electro-intensive industrial sectors (that’s why we are part of the current list of eligible sectors) and the role of our industry is strategic for the entire economy. While the risk of carbon leakage has been clearly confirmed by multiple studies and reports, we are providing all the necessary data and evidence to ensure that our sector will get adequate and predictable support for the next decade (2021-2030).
Electricity is aluminium’s lifeblood. Because there is no energy alternative for the sector to electricity, the aluminium industry is a front runner on energy efficiency. The European Aluminium industry is showing steady improvement since the 1990s and electricity consumption has fallen by more than a third over that period. Europe’s intention to further revise the electricity market design can play a major role to improve the conditions for our competitiveness and long term investments.
Clean Energy Package: our position recommendations
European Aluminium welcomes the principles and political aspirations embedded into the legislative proposals “Clean energy for all Europeans”, adopted in 2016 by the Commission.
We fully understand the importance of defining legislative frameworks to empower energy consumers, integrate electricity markets and manage the penetration of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) into the European grids. Our industry is proactively contributing to such goals through our product applications, infinite recyclability and the stabilisation of the grid through demand-response mechanisms. We will therefore monitor that the implementation of the package will secure the competitiveness and sustainable production of aluminium in Europe.
Decarbonisation of transport
Aluminium has a great role to play in decarbonisation of transport. Light weighting is driving emissions reductions from road transport. To guarantee this transition to a low carbon economy, technology neutral CO2 regulations for vehicles are critical as they will allow to take full benefit of light weighting into account.
The aluminium industry is constantly searching new ways to use energy more effectively. The industry is committed to maximise the energy-saving potential of aluminium products but also to increase recycling through improved aluminium collection as well as streamline energy use through the entire production value chain. Our Sustainability Roadmap 2025 has defined a clear target to reduce industrial energy consumption by 10%, per tonne of aluminium produced or transformed in Europe.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) promotes the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the Union. It requires Members States to apply a methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings and to set minimum performance requirements for new buildings, buildings undergoing major renovations and for building elements. The EPBD has been amended in June 2018 and requires Member States to establish long-term renovation strategies.
European Aluminium insists on the application of the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle to secure that minimizing building’s energy consumption is always pursued, even when the energy is supplied from renewables, which are too valuable to be wasted.
When Member States set minimum performance requirements for transparent building elements like windows, European Aluminium recommends using the ‘energy balance’ methodology that considers both insulation AND solar heat gains to assess their thermal performance.
The aluminium industry is involved in the implementation, evaluation and revision of energy efficient product policies like Energy Labelling and Ecodesign.