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A primary energy factor (PEF) for electricity describes the ratio between end-user consumption of electricity and primary energy consumption. In recent years, the EU has implemented regulatory use of PEFs in the energy policy framework. As a result, PEFs now play a role in the regulation of production and consumption of electricity throughout Europe.
A key challenge is the lack of professional and/or political agreement on how the PEF shall be determined. Up until today, approaches used to determine PEFs have lacked foundation in objective methodologies, and the discussions have often been plagued by sectorial interest and political goals. Regulatory application of PEFs can create enormous challenges for European authorities and other energy market interests in the future. Depending on the case, the determination of a PEF may push end-users to alter their consumption of energy, decisions on energy efficiency and/or choice of energy fuels. Thus, PEFs may affect European countries’ ability to achieve long-term energy- and climate goals.