New power transformers in the EU will have to fulfil minimum energy efficiency requirements from July next year under a regulation adopted by the European Commission yesterday.
Transformers are vital parts of an electrical grid and essential for efficient and safe conversion of electricity between different voltage systems.
Although transformers are generally very efficient devices, improvements in their efficiency can help make “substantial energy savings”, according to the Commission.
The new Ecodesign Regulation is expected to save around 16TWh of energy every year from 2020 – equivalent to half of the annual electricity usage in Denmark – as well as 3.7 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions.
The rule covers small, medium and large power transformers used in electricity transmission and distribution networks or for industrial applications.
Michel Barnier, Acting European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship said: “Today’s decision represents a good example of how we can pursue policies that successfully reconcile competitiveness and sustainability.
“By aligning EU legislation with that of other advanced economies, this regulation will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help reduce electricity prices for consumers while helping EU manufacturers continue to be competitive in global markets.”
An estimated 3.6 million transformers were installed in Europe in 2011 and this is expected to rise to almost 4.7 million in 2025.