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For a primary energy factor that supports decarbonisation

Together with 18 organisations, T&D Europe is asking European policy makers to update the primary energy factor value for electricity to 2.0 in the Electricity Efficiency Directive. This will better reflect the EU energy mix, in particular today’s share of renewable energy in electricity generation and its strong increase in the near future.


The Primary Energy Factor (PEF) connects primary and final energy. It indicates how much primary energy is used to generate a unit of electricity or a unit of useable thermal energy. It allows for comparison between the primary energy consumption of products with the same functionality (e.g. heating) using different energy carriers (particularly electricity vs. fossil fuels).Electricity is a final energy carrier, produced from different primary energy sources like fossil fuels (gas, coal), nuclear and renewables (hydro, wind, solar).

Currently a PEF of 2.5 is used as a “conversion factor" to express electricity consumption/savings in primary energy consumption/savings, regardless of the type of energy source used to produce it (also when the electricity comes from renewables).

The current PEF for electricity is acting as a barrier for the decarbonisation of the heating sector. By 2030 the EU RES share in power generation is projected to be at least 49%. A value of 2.0, to be set for 2020 (when the EED will be implemented) is appropriate and justified by the Fraunhofer Institute et. al.’s scientific methodology, prepared for the European Commission. The accelerated greening of the electricity mix justifies a frequent review of the value based on the aforementioned methodology, in order to reflect changes in reality.

Read the full paper here