- Positively influenced the Clean Energy Package
- Positioned copper as an alternative to rare-earth materials via the Horizon 2020-funded ReFreeDrive project
- Established an Energy and Climate Committee, providing strategic guidance to our energy work
The Clean Energy for all Europeans Package outlines the EU’s ambitions in areas impacting several of our energy programmes, including building and home automation, solar thermal, electrification of thermal processes in industry and renewables-powered industrial processes. Accordingly, ECI made the copper industry visible in this political debate through a number of events, such as the European Renewable Energy Federation New Year Reception on the EU Energy Union, and the DecarbEurope event forming part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).
We also had direct input into the policy process via consultations and outreach, establishing ourselves as a reputable stakeholder with great convening power and—more importantly—making significant contributions to ensure the Clean Energy Package was more ambitious, and thus more positive for the copper industry.
ECI developed decarbonisation pathways for the copper industry’s energy system and material inputs. In assembling these, the key concern was to safeguard the competitiveness of Europe’s copper industry. We will work further on this topic in 2019 to advance concrete actions for decarbonisation with our members, with such pathways requiring updates every three to five years.
We also developed a vision of Battery Electric Vehicles based on observations around CO2 reduction, energy efficiency and a forecasted lower total cost of ownership of electric vehicles after the first 60,000 kilometres. We used this to engage on a number of important legislative files supporting electromobility, both alone and through the Electromobility Platform, which has 34 members across companies, associations and NGOs. Key achievements include contributing to raising the target for renewable energy for transport from the current 10 percent to 14 percent in the Renewable Energy Directive, and ensuring the contribution of renewable electricity is weighted double as compared to biofuels.
In its third year, our DecarbEurope initiative presents 20 copper-based decarbonisation solutions that could deliver a carbon-neutral Europe and create around 25 million tonnes of additional cumulative copper demand by 2050.
Highlights of the year include developing an integrated vision for decarbonising the EU economy in the context of COP24, showing a way forward that is comprehensive and ambitious, but also feasible, practical and concrete.
Challenges to be faced in 2019 and beyond include carbon content management related to material streams—an issue that will become increasingly important to reach full circularity and can be addressed through innovation—and the need for citizen acceptance of social innovations, for example through service-oriented business models. We plan to address these challenges by seeking complementary solutions and recruiting new partners in DecarbEurope.