Energy Policy of EU and G20

Energy Policy of EU and G20

How does Energy Policy of the EU and G20 countries affect my LCA results?

Sources of electricity supply in the EU vary significantly amongst countries. From mainly coal based sources in Poland and mostly nuclear sources in France, to largely hydropower in Norway. Most other countries show a broad, but significantly different electricity mix, which includes gases, oils, peat and various renewable sources.

Having access to adequate energy data affects your ability to improve your LCA results, because the energy supply of your production site(s) and the materials you procure from suppliers often play a significant role in your overall LCA results. The energy policy of the country where your energy is produced, and the respective material supplier countries, directly influence the quality of your products’ LCA.

Energy Policy of EU and G20

What do I have to do to ensure quality data in this context?

Quality in this sense means primary data: the right geographical representation and the latest (verified) reference year possible. 

Take country-specific data for the respective supply you procure and the country of production(s) and take steps to acquire the latest possible data, because the energy mixes tend to change quickly.

Development grid mix in Germany and EU-27

Development of electricity grid mix in Germany (left) and EU-27 (right) [Eurostat 2018]

How do I see the data evolution in GaBi?

With every annual update, you’ll see the evolution of energy policies reflected in GaBi. For material and system datasets, the overall enhancements are often a mix of improvements in production, suppliers and energy (e.g., a polymer or metal process is improved by the resource supplier upstream and the energy mix of respective countries improves). The evolution of energy policies in EU countries is also easy to visualize in the GaBi energy data. Take the electricity dataset from a country of interest and calculate a result. 

Then do it again in the exact same way after the next yearly update has taken place. You’ll be able to see the evolution for your chosen impact. You can find information like that shown below for, for example, country-specific GWP performance.

GWP of electricity grid mix datasets in GaBi

Absolute GWP of electricity grid mix datasets in GaBi Professional 2018 & 2019 Edition

Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Greece and other countries increased their share of renewables or reduced coal respectively, so GWP was reduced. Iceland, Norway, Sweden and France already have an excellent rating concerning their GWP.

Some countries, like Latvia, increased their GWP intensity when they substituted nuclear power with Russian coal-powered electricity imports. In the case of Portugal, the relative share of hydro-based electricity decreased and was compensated for with fossil fuels.

How should I understand the evolution of energy policies?

LCA helps us to understand the complexity of reality. GaBi data gives us the facts in terms of data and supporting documents to guide us toward the technical, political and economic reasons behind evolving facts. 

Technical facts in the evolution of a country-specific grid mix are documented for many G20 countries. For more details see page 21 on GaBi Databases 2019 - Upgrades & improvements.

Profit from the energy evolution

Get the real facts with GaBi, explore the evolution of energy policies from the EU/G20 countries and learn about important trigger points and dynamics behind the changes, letting your products benefit through the improvement of international energy policies.

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