Unleash the potential of the water-energy nexus in the energy efficiency directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and Water Europe (WE), call on the European Parliament and the Member States to unleash the potential of the Water-Energy nexus in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).  

The nexus holds the potential to generate large-scale energy and water savings across sectors and reduce Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. Saving water saves energy and saving energy saves water.  

Our joint declaration supports policy makers with 11 recommendations on how to exploit these synergies and achieve greater water, resource and energy efficiencies 

  1. Secure that the energy efficiency first (EE1) principle applies across sectors and all water cycles and that the quality of water used is fit for purpose.  
  2. Create an enabling framework that ensure the delivery of all the benefits deriving from water efficiency.  
  3. Promote water reuse to generate energy savings in water management.  
  4. Facilitate interoperability and easy integration to the energy grid of energy generated by wastewater treatment plants.  
  5. Introduce a mandatory system of assessment for both energy and water usage in industry, water supply systems, wastewater network and treatment plants.  
  6. Provide meaningful incentives to ensure that water suppliers reduce water leakage levels, particularly for large and very large water suppliers.  
  7. Mandate the introduction of green infrastructure and adapt grey infrastructures in cities to reduce the amount of storm water being directly released into wastewater treatment plants.  
  8. Provide incentives to the use of digital technologies and real-time data analytics across water cycles.  
  9. Foster transparency and free-flow of data across EU on water quality and availability, water leakages, system capacity and energy use for water and waste water infrastructure and performance.  
  10. Develop communication standards for data sharing across the water cycle and between national and regional entities.  
  11. Introduce requirements and incentives in the EED for the ICT sector to monitor their energy and water consumption. 

Read the full declaration and recommendations here

 

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How to make the energy efficiency directive Water-Smart?

On 8 February, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni, spoke at the webinar “How to make the Energy Efficiency Directive water smart?” organised by the MEP Water Group.

In her intervention Monica Frassoni raised the importance of the water-energy nexus and the need to coordinate water and energy legislations. Speakers included MEP Pernille Weiss, Chair of the MEP Water Group; Claudia Canevari, Head of unit, Energy Efficiency; MEP Eleonora Evi, ENVI Committee; Durk Krol, Executive Director of Water Europe and Arnaud de Bermingham, President & Founder of Scaleway.

 

Watch the recording here

 

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How to fully exploit the potential of the water-energy nexus for energy efficiency

On the 27th of October EU-ASE hosted an online policy session “Fully exploiting the water-energy nexus” organised together with Water Europe at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2021.

EU-ASE President Monica Frassoni moderated the panel composed of Claudia Canevari (DG Ener), MEP Eleonora Evi (European Parliament), Oriana Romano (OECD) and Durk Krol (Water Europe). The speakers discussed how the water sector and water smart-management can lead to energy savings across industrial, commercial and residential water cycles. They also debated the data and methodologies to calculate such savings, with a view to leveraging Art 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The recording of the event is available here.
The slides used during the presentation can be found here.

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The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive to fully realise water and energy savings (updated)

Overall, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) has played a substantial role in improving the quality of European water resources and reducing pollution levels in water bodies. However, Europe remains some way from full compliance with collection and treatment requirements and has made little progress with water reuse. We believe the 28-year-old Directive should be updated to better address these critical issues and today’s challenges including climate change, resource scarcity, increased energy consumption and population growth.

 Read the full paper

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The contribution of water efficiency and energy savings to the European Green Deal

With this workshop, co-organised with the Maltese Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, we explored policy, technological and practical approaches to fully realise the highly needed energy savings and achieve the emissions-reduction potential of the water-energy nexus.

Water and energy are highly interdependent (‘water-energy nexus’) and should be considered as such across all European Union policies. This would ensure the availability of Europe’s water resources, while supporting the EU energy and climate objectives, in particular those related to energy efficiency.

Energy is needed to abstract, distribute, heat, cool, treat and desalinate water. Water and wastewater sectors account for 3.5% of electricity use in the EU and that share is expected to rise over the next years. For municipalities, water and waste water facilities account for the largest consumption of electricity, representing 30-40% of local authorities’ total electricity bill.

Smart water management across the water sector as well as industrial, commercial, and residential water cycles can lead to significant energy savings. The key is to fully understand the energy-water nexus, its ability to generate water and energy efficiencies, and its contribution to deliver the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal.

The workshop featured:

  • A keynote address from Miriam Dalli, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Malta
  • An overview of the EU policy and regulatory framework related to the water-energy nexus by Veronica Manfredi, Director for Quality of Life, DG Environment, European Commission; and Robert Nuij, Deputy Head of Unit for Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission
  • Case studies presentations by leading businesses to support current EU policy implementation and future policy and regulatory developments
  • Q&A with the panelists
  • Conclusions by Simona Bonafè, Member of the European Parliament and of the ENVI and ITRE Committees

Watch the recording of the event on our YouTube channel

The full presentation is available here

Our publication:
Water-energy nexus and energy saving obligations: industry success stories

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