PhD defense: Het energie-efficiëntie-eerstbeginsel in het Europese energie- en klimaatbeleid.


The ‘energy efficiency first’ (EE1st) principle has become a key component of European Union's (EU) strategy to transition to a net-zero emissions energy system. This principle advocates prioritising energy efficiency solutions, such as building retrofits, when they cost less or provide greater societal benefits than traditional energy supply infrastructure, such as power plants.

Despite its incorporation into EU Governance Regulation and the recast Energy Efficiency Directive, the implementation of the EE1st principle across Member States faces both conceptual and practical challenges.

This research makes three main contributions: First, it provides a thorough investigation into the EE1st principle’s theoretical foundations through a combination of literature review and conceptual analysis, integrating it into the broader research literature and clarifying its implications for EU policymaking. Second, it analyses the quantitative effects of the principle using model-based analyses and cost-benefit analyses, examining the balance between energy savings in the building sector and the associated energy supply needs for electricity, heat, and hydrogen in the EU’s net-zero transition. Finally, based on a literature review of economic theory and semi-structured interviews, the research provides policy guidance by categorising potential policy instruments and presenting a decision tree framework to facilitate energy planning.

Altogether, this research highlights the critical role of the EE1st principle in moving the EU towards net-zero emissions by providing conceptual clarity, empirical evidence, and actionable policy guidance.

Start date and time
End date and time
Academiegebouw, Domplein 29 & online (livestream link)
PhD candidate
T.M. Mandel
Het energie-efficiëntie-eerstbeginsel in het Europese energie- en klimaatbeleid. Het overbruggen van de kloof tussen conceptuele grondslagen en praktische beleidsuitvoering
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. dr. E. Worrell
Prof. dr. W.A. Eichhammer
dr. H. Brugger