Global warming is a concern for all of us and our leaders are taking steps to address greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, the EU set energy consumption and emissions goals to be achieved by 2020. The data confirms that these goals were overachieved, which is fantastic news! However, we’re now looking towards the next big target for 2030. So, what do our leaders hope we’ll achieve by 2030 and how are we going to do it?
The 2020 targets
In 2007, the three main targets set by the EU for its members were:
- 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to the year 1990)
- 20% of EU energy is sourced from renewables
- 20% increase in energy efficiency
How were the targets reached?
In a nutshell, the overachievement of the 2020 goals has been attributed to COVID-19. The crisis greatly impacted the EU’s economy, how people lived, and overall energy consumption. Eurostat have collected data and reported that EU primary energy consumption for 2020 dropped to 1,236 million tonnes of oil equivalent (5.8% below target) and final energy consumption dropped to 907 million tonnes of oil equivalent (5.4% below target).[i]
While credit has been given to the significantly unusual conditions of the pandemic, it’s worth noting that the data from 2019 (pre-COVID-19) demonstrates a significant decrease in energy consumption and that the EU was instigating change (see Fig1). It has been shown that it’s possible to make a difference and that’s worth keeping in mind as we look towards the 2030 goals.
Figure 1: Final and primary energy consumption trends of the EU27[ii]
Source: Joint Research Centre (JRC) based on Eurostat data, Dataset of April 2022.[iii]
The 2030 targets
The original goals for 2030 have been amended, with energy savings and emissions targets set at ambitious levels. The goals for 2030 include:
- annual energy savings of 1.49% (from 2024-2030)[iv]
- 55%+ cut in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 1990)
- 32% of EU energy sourced from renewables (with scope to increase this)
- becoming climate-neutral by 2050[v]
Amongst the 2030 goals, it is noted that the energy sector contributes 75%+ of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.[vi]
Playing your part
Let’s address that final point: 75%+ greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the energy sector. It’s true that there is already a real push for renewable energy sources, but gas turbine-based combined-cycle power plants are expected to remain one of the world’s most important options for generating electricity for the immediate future.[vii] if you’re responsible for a gas turbine, there are simple steps you can take to reduce emissions now. The bonus is that you will save fuel and money at the same time.
A clean, efficient gas turbine compressor is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While installing an air filtration system is a great start, even the best filter is unable to completely remove impurities such as oily vapours and unburned hydrocarbons. These foulants coat the inner workings of the gas turbine compressor then fine solids and salts become suspended and quickly build up. Air flow is compromised, heat levels can rise, and fuel consumption and output of greenhouse gases increases.
The best solution to address the problem and regain lost efficiency is a regular cleaning schedule using specialist products. A combination of on-line and off-line cleans is recommended for best results.
Find out more
It is becoming increasingly evident that we all need to play our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and safeguarding the future of the planet. The 2030 deadline for those ambitious goals will be upon us in just a few years.
If you would like to learn more about options to increase efficiency at your gas turbine while reducing running costs and greenhouse gas emissions, please get in touch. The team at Rochem have specialised in this specific industry for over 40 years and will be happy to answer all your questions.
[i] https://energy.ec.europa.eu/topics/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-targets-directive-and-rules/energy-efficiency-targets_en [Accessed 27/7/23]
[ii][ii] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52022DC0641&qid=1669913283450 [Accessed 27/7/23]
[iii] Tsemekidi-Tzeiranaki S.., Paci D., Clementi E., Gonzales Torres M., Analysis of the Reports on 2020 Targets under Article 27 of the Governance Regulation – Energy Efficiency, 2022
[iv] https://energy.ec.europa.eu/topics/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-targets-directive-and-rules/energy-efficiency-targets_en [Accessed 31/7/23]
[v][v] https://energy.ec.europa.eu/topics/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-directive-targets-and-rules/renewable-energy-targets_en [Accessed 21/7/23]
[vi] https://energy.ec.europa.eu/topics/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-directive-targets-and-rules/renewable-energy-targets_en [Accessed 21/7/23]
[vii] Dr Thomas Peters (2012) ‘UK Energy Bill Unlocks Confidence, Certainty and Cash’ Power Engineering International