Energy efficiency: Can we easily compare countries?

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    Why does energy efficiency in Finland compare to other countries as it does? In this study, we aim to find the factors that help explain the discrepancies between expected and received results, especially results shown by recent IEA, JRC and ODYSSEE decom¬position analyses and by new ODYSSEE and MURE country comparison scoreboard tools. The results of the decompositions differ a lot, even when using same source data and same timeline and reasonably similar decomposition structure. This goes to show that an energy efficiency calculation is not easy or just a matter of course, but includes a lot of pitfalls and caveats. One issue is the handling of missing time series or data values. To help readers of energy efficiency country comparisons, we request that the basic principles used to handle missing values should always be documented. Especially the chosen industry decom¬position structures do not perform so well for Finland due to too aggregate data, e.g. by including services in industry in IEA and JRC. More disaggregate designs would improve Finnish positioning considerably. For example, to analyse Finnish industry properly, the pulp and paper sub-sector must be disaggregated to an adequate product level. The ODYSSEE and MURE scoreboards results for Finland can be debated and especially the selection of indicators such as, e.g., value added, which, according to IEA, is not such a good energy efficiency indicator, for main part of the industry, energy per passenger for air flights and penetration of solar heaters in houses for hot water. The Finnish trend score is also not very good, but here one reason might be the good starting point. It is very hard to put up 50% or 60% improvements in the industry in 15 years as, for example, some Eastern European countries do. Finnish ranking in MURE Policy scoreboard is not bad, but many scrutinized policy measures by other countries in the database raise question marks, especially their impact estimates. The title of the report is a question: Energy efficiency: can we easily compare countries? The short answer is no, and this study tells why not.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages78
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Report


    • energy efficiency
    • decomposition
    • Odyssee
    • Mure


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