EUROALLIAGES represents an energy-intensive industry. In the ferro-alloys and silicon sector, electricity is a critical raw material with no substitute. The energy cost represents a major part of production costs. Highly effective energy consumption is therefore a central competitive factor for EUROALLIAGES’ members.
The production of ferro-alloys and silicon is subject to electrometallurgical processes which go along with intrinsic and unavoidable process emissions. The European industry has been investing and improving the level of process emissions and has today almost reached the ceiling of improvement with the technologies currently available. Besides, the last digits of improvement that are close to the physical limits are the most costly to achieve for marginal gains.
It is therefore vital for the European ferro-alloys and silicon sector that the burden is not increased by making it the subject of mandatory energy saving schemes.
However, the European ferro-alloys and silicon sector will continue to play an active role towards the achievement of the European climate and energy policy targets and contribute to energy efficiency policy where possible. In order to ensure that the legislation which paves the way is realistic and feasible, it is necessary to give a central place to the economic viability of the energy saving schemes and to assess and duly take into account their impact on the international competitiveness of the European industry.
Any energy saving scheme should be limited to the situations where it is economically compatible with process characteristics, process scale, grid operating conditions and potential local consumption. These conditions must be assessed at local level.
Moreover, the development of appropriate financing is of utmost importance as it appears in the majority of the cases as a decisive factor in the effective implementation of energy recovery. EuroAlliages insists that financial support to energy saving projects should be a central point in the realisation of the European energy efficiency policy.
EUROALLIAGES strongly supports the encouragement of demand response, which is still an underused and undervalued measure in many energy markets. Improved use of this instrument will help reduce the need for development of new grids and production capacity and as such be vital for the socioeconomic sustainability of our new energy future.
It is important, however, that demand response is initiated through market mechanisms, where demand and production can offer their services on a European level playing field.
EUROALLIAGES also believes that the structure of network tariffication can be an important measure in initiating more efficient use of the electricity grid, and overall energy efficiency. Due to the unavoidable feature of electricity - grid losses - one should avoid long distance transport of electricity, unless it is strictly necessary.
Being a frontrunner with regard to energy efficiency, EUROALLIAGES is sharing its experience with partners at international level. A presentation was recently made on the importance of energy efficiency in EU policy during the Ukrainian ferro-alloys association annual conference in April 2014.
Energy Efficiency Directive (2012)
EUROALLIAGES followed with interest the adoption of the Energy Efficiency Directive in 2012. EUROALLIAGES’ members supported the establishment of binding energy efficiency targets for Member States. Measures implementing these binding targets should be determined at national level. Member States would thus be able to assess the possibility of imposing obligations in sectors where the benefits outweigh the costs. This solution allows for vital adaptation to local opportunities and barriers. It is of the utmost importance to take into account the industrial reality and local framework in order to achieve an adequate and feasible policy.
EUROALLIAGES strongly believes that energy efficiency cannot be achieved without appropriate support. The imposition of obligations without the necessary support schemes could actually result in further increasing the risk of carbon leakage, a consequence which is in no way favourable to EU economy and growth, or to global GHG emissions. Financial intervention from public bodies appears necessary in order to allow for continued efficiency within the industry, especially to speed up measures in favour of energy efficiency.
It is now time for the transposition of the European Directive at national level. The European ferro-alloys and silicon sector will continue to play an active role towards the achievement of the European climate and energy policy targets. In order to ensure that the legislation paving the way to this is realistic and feasible, the central focus must be on the economic viability of energy-saving schemes and the assessment and taking into account of the latter's impact on the international competitiveness of European industry.
Any energy-saving scheme should be limited to situations where it is economically compatible with process characteristics, process scale, grid operating conditions and potential local consumption. These conditions must be assessed at local level.
Moreover, the development of appropriate financing is of the utmost importance as, in the majority of cases, it is a decisive factor in the effective implementation of energy recovery schemes.