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The Implementation of the European Green Deal Strategy as a Challenge for Energy Management in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Małgorzata Sztorc
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Małgorzata Sztorc: Department of Marketing and Management, Faculty of Management and Computer Modeling, Kielce University of Technology, al. Tysiąclecia Państwa Polskiego 7, 25-314 Kielce, Poland

Energies, 2022, vol. 15, issue 7, 1-21

Abstract: This article aims to present changes in the use of electricity by service companies, resulting from regulations within the framework of increasing energy efficiency from the perspective of the implementation of the European Green Deal strategy. To achieve the above goal, the following research question was formulated: to what extent did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the implementation of energy transformation and electricity consumption among the surveyed group of recipients? It should be noted that, so far in the global environment, more and more electricity has been used every year, and this tendency is still continuous and growing. Therefore, in European Union countries, measures have been taken to balance demand and its rational use, resulting from the implementation of the European Green Deal strategy. According to the strategic goal of the indicated policy, EU countries are obliged to implement a sequence of actions enabling their transformation into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. In particular, the strategy aims to achieve three main goals: 1. Achieving climate neutrality by reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in 2050; 2. Decoupling economic growth from the consumption of natural resources; and 3. Striving for an equal standard of living in all countries. Therefore, the behavior of individual countries should focus on providing the required amount of energy to ensure socioeconomic growth while reducing pollution and environmental devastation caused by traditional methods of energy production and use. There are numerous talks and debates about the defined tasks and mechanisms leading to the achievement of the indicated goals, in which hardly any mention is made of the methods of monitoring the progress and evaluation of individual projects at the stage of building a new green deal. This study aims to fill the research gap observed in the current state of knowledge on energy management in EU countries from the perspective of the European Green Deal strategy and changes in its management resulting from the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, in line with the aim of the article: 1. Factors influencing electricity consumption in service enterprises operating in EU countries were indicated; 2. Energy consumption variability in these entities was determined; and 3. The correlation between electricity consumption and GDP growth in the service sector located in EU countries was indicated. Therefore, a hybrid research method was used to analyze the data obtained from the databases of Eurostat and Statistics Poland, which consisted of the following analyses: diagnostic-descriptive, main components, and wavelet transform. Based on the conducted research, it should be concluded that energy consumption among service companies operating in the EU market is conditioned by three sources of causes along with the relevant consumption factors. The first group includes energy and technical premises, along with technological determinants. The second is shaped by financial and economic motives, which include socioeconomic factors. The third group is related to environmental sources represented by the natural environment and geographic and meteorological factors. The increase in electricity consumption in service enterprises is related to the average GDP growth of EU countries following a two-way cause-and-effect relationship implemented until 2019. Nevertheless, since 2020, there has been a noticeable decrease in energy consumption by 14.01% by service entities, which results from the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the European Green Deal strategy. Meanwhile, the structure of electricity consumption growth was dominated by industrial enterprises (increased by 37.7%) and individual consumers (increased by 7.8%). The results of the research may motivate the managers of EU countries and enterprises to analyze the factors of energy consumption, its variability, and dependence on economic growth, which contribute to determining the forecast of future energy demand, in connection with the ongoing energy transformation resulting from the implementation of the European Green Deal strategy, and economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The issues presented in this article are an attempt to fill the gap indicating practical experience related to the process of electricity management and management in the political, economic, and technological dimensions from the perspective of implementing the European Green Deal strategy and the conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: electricity; energy transformation; energy efficiency; the European Green Deal; COVID-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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