Primary Energy Demand of Renewable Energy Carriers

Part 2: Policy Implications

Published: 02/07/2014

In setting energy and climate targets, a number of EU directives and regulations refer to implementation of primary energy factors (PEF). The use of primary energy factors has impact on long term energy policy scenarios and energy generation investments. Yet there is no unified approach in European regulation on how to calculate PEFs for renewable energy sources (RE).

The European Copper Institute had therefore commissioned a two paper series focusing on the options for defining primary energy factors for renewables. This paper is the second part of the two paper series and describes how primary energy factors are currently used in the EU regulatory framework. In a second step the report makes use of case studies to investigate to what extent different definitions of PEF for RE have implications on EU energy policy. More particular, the report looks at the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and Renewable Energy Directive (RED) as well as the PEF’s influence on target setting in overarching EU communications and energy accounting.

The first part of the study, “Methodology and Examples”, was elaborated by PE International and is also available at:

Familiarise with the study's findings in below webcast by the main author Dr Andreas Hermelink: