Benchmarking the energy efficiency of Dutch industry: An assessment of the expected effect on energy consumption and CO2 emissions
As part of its energy and climate policy the Dutch government has reached an agreement with the Dutch energy-intensive industry that is explicitly based on industry's relative energy efficiency performance. The energy efficiency of the Dutch industry is benchmarked against that of comparable industries in countries world-wide. In the agreement, industry is required to belong to the top-of-the-world in terms of energy efficiency. In return, the government refrains from implementing additional climate policies.This article assesses the potential effects of this agreement on energy consumption and CO2 emissions by comparing the current level of energy efficiency of the Dutch industry — including electricity production — to that of the most efficient countries and regions. At the current structure achieving the regional best practice level for the selected energy-intensive industries would result in a 5plus or minus 2% lower current primary energy consumption than the actual level. Most of the savings are expected in the petrochemical industry and in electricity generation. Avoided CO2 emissions would amount to 4 Mt CO2. A first estimate of the effect of the benchmarking agreement in 2012 suggests primary energy savings of 50-130 PJ or 5-10 Mt CO2 avoided compared to the estimated Business as Usual development (5-15%). This saving is smaller than what a continuation of the existing policies of Long Term Agreements would probably deliver.