Benchmarking the energy efficiency of Dutch industry: An assessment of the expected effect on energy consumption and CO2 emissions

Dian Phylipsen, Kornelis Blok, Ernst Worrell, Jeroen De Beer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


As part of its energy and climate policy the Dutch government has reached an agreement with the Dutch energy-intensive industry that is explicitly based on industry's relative energy efficiency performance. The energy efficiency of the Dutch industry is benchmarked against that of comparable industries in countries worldwide. In the agreement, industry is required to belong to the top-of-the-world in terms of energy efficiency. In return, the government refrains from implementing additional climate policies. This article assesses the potential effects of this agreement on energy consumption and CO2 emissions by comparing the current level of energy efficiency of the Dutch industry-including electricity production-to that of the most efficient countries and regions. At the current structure achieving the regional best practice level for the selected energy-intensive industries world result in a 5 ± 2% lower current primary energy consumption than the actual level. Most of the savings are expected in the petrochemical industry and in electricity generation. Avoided CO2 emissions would amount to 4 Mt CO2. A first estimate of the effect of the benchmarking agreement in 2012 suggests primary energy savings of 50-130 PJ or 4-9 Mt CO2 avoided compared to the estimated Business as Usual development (5-15%). This saving is smaller than what a continuation of the existing policies of Long-Term Agreements would probably deliver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-679
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Benchmarking
  • Energy efficiency
  • Industry

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