Water and Sewage
Green Blue
Buildings & land use
Introduction Important issues Indicators + benchmarks Cross sector links References

Indicators and Benchmarks

The EU Directive on Energy Efficiency in buildings (2001b) identifies the need to improve energy efficiency in buildings, especially in existing buildings. The directive requires that any new building over 1,000 m2, has a technical, environmental and economic feasibility of alternative systems such as combined heat and power (CHP), decentralised energy supply systems based on renewable energy or district heating or cooling system, and that any building being refurbished over 1,000 m2 improves the buildings energy efficiency.

More specific benchmarks are set in the European Commissions communication on the energy dimension of climate change (1997) which sets a 15% reduction in its emissions of greenhouse gases by 2010, compared with the reference year 1990. The Directive on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market (2001c) confirms the target outlined above of “12% of gross inland energy consumption from renewables for the Community as a whole by 2010, of which electricity would represent 22.1%”. Further benchmarks are set such as the requirement for the production of a report every five years by each member state showing renewable energy consumption for the following ten years, and indicating what measures have been taken to reach that target.

A range of quantitative and qualitative benchmarks have been used within the PETUS case studies. In the case study Management of Wind Farms in Wallonia gathered qualitative benchmarks for example thresholds of noise for wind farm developments (De WindNormCurve WNC-40 from the Dutch legislation specifies the maximal noise of a wind-turbine regarding the wind speed at 10m of height) and German references provided thresholds of stroboscopic effects. With regard to visual impacts the idea is not to camouflage the wind-farms but to use them to structure the landscape.

Two groups of indicators have been defined European Community, Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities: Structural indicators in energy and Euro-indicators in energy. Structural indicators are provided annually and cover Employment, Innovation and Research, Economic Reform, Social cohesion and Environment. Within energy there are seven indicators which cover the share of renewable energy (%) and gross inland consumption of energy. Euro-indicators are monthly data that cover the supply of petroleum products, supply of electricity, supply of natural gas and energy prices.

Within the PETUS case studies, indicators have been used to identify progress or to make comparisons. In Breda, Holland (PETUS case study: Environmental monitoring in Breda) ninety indicators are used to cover a range of environmental issues including energy indicators.

For more information: Environmental monitoring in Breda