A three-step recipe to transform our buildings | EUSEW 2021

by Bertrand Deprez, Vice-President EU Government Affairs at Schneider Electric and board member of the European Alliance to Save Energy, & Céline Carré, Head of European Public Affairs at Saint-Gobain, a member of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

This is no secret: with more than 38% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, buildings represent one of the largest bulk of decarbonisation. And with 40% of energy consumption, they can even lead the energy efficiency race. However, so far, the efforts deployed at the European and national levels to accelerate the renovation of the buildings stock have not been sufficient to drive their long-term decarbonisation. If we want this to change, and to make highly efficient buildings in a fully decarbonised and connected energy system a reality, three levers should be activated simultaneously.

First, aligning hearts and minds around the unique contribution of buildings can happen via the joint revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Renewable Energy Directive. The Renovation Wave strategy has set the direction, but specific milestones and acceleration points now need to take shape. Among those are minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) on existing buildings, a tool to drive demand for renovation. Such MEPS should be deployed for first movers segments, such as non-residential and worst-performing residential buildings particularly affected by soaring energy prices. Then, new and existing buildings should be made fit for our 2050 carbon neutrality goals. In this journey, better accounting for reflecting emissions reduction potentials from new buildings and major renovations, on top of energy savings, will also help coordinate and align actions, especially when it comes to boosting the uptake of both energy efficiency measures and renewables, such as directly electrified solutions powered by renewables.

Second, unleashing new business models to finance and roll out renovations will ensure that the ambition is fulfilled. Deploying renovation and recovery is a combined challenge of preparedness and speed. The construction sector is getting ready with new approaches enabling to renovate faster and better. We need more innovators and integrators to plug these new business models together with available finance. The implementation of the post Covid-19 national recovery plans is a unique opportunity to fill the gap in this field.

Read the full article on the EUSEW 2021 blog

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Smart technologies for energy-efficient, decarbonised and more comfortable buildings

On 14 October, EU-ASE, together with eu.bac and LightingEurope organised a webinar on the review of the Energy Performance Of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the role of smart technologies to make EU building stock energy-efficient, decarbonised and more comfortable.

Most of the potential of digitalisation is still unexploited in buildings. The revision of the EPBD creates a unique opportunity to deploy a broad range of energy-efficient and smart technologies, from Artificial Intelligence, to Building Automation and Control Systems or smart lighting, among many other solutions.

The recording of the event is available here
The slides used during the presentation can be found here
The result of the polls here

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EU-ASE at high-level launch of Energy Efficiency First Guidelines

The president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni spoke at the high-level event “Recommendation and Guidelines on Energy Efficiency First: From principles to practice” organised by the European Commission’s DG ENER and CINEA on 28 September for the launch of its Guidelines on the Energy Efficiency first principle. 

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni called on the Commission to lead by example and apply the principle to their policy and regulatory work, starting from the forthcoming Energy Performance of Buildings Directive proposal. She also stressed the need for stronger integration of the water-energy nexus in the EU legislative framework. 

The event gathered stakeholders from both the energy and energy end-use sectors and from sustainable finance. The guidelines aim to support the implementation of the Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) principle in decision-making in the energy sector and beyond.  

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EU-ASE at Il tempo del clima. La sfida di COP26

On 20 September, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni, participated in the high-level webinar “Il tempo del clima. La sfida di COP26”, organised by Aspen Institute Italia and Edison.

Speakers included: Enrico Giovannini, Italian Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility; Nicola Monti, Ceo Edison; Jill Morris, British Ambassador to Italy and San Marino; and David Livingston, Senior Advisor on Climate, US Department of State.


The recording of the panel can be found 
here

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Open letter: EU Taxonomy should recognise key role to increase energy efficiency of electrical and industrial solutions

In response to the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s consultation on preliminary recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) addressed in an open letter the European Commission asking to recognise the key enabling role to increase energy efficiency of electrical and industrial solutions.

The letter says:

In May 2018, the European Commission published its action plan on sustainable finance which, among other elements, included a proposal to create a unified EU classification system (EU Taxonomy). We support this initiative that will provide greater clarity to investors on what can be genuinely considered sustainable economic activities. In order to fully deliver on the goals of the taxonomy, its technical screening criteria must include all the most beneficial and sustainable solutions available on the market.

Electrical equipment and industrial automation equipment and systems are key enabling technologies to deliver on energy efficiency and electrification. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the electrification of heating, transport and industry is essential, and the share of electricity should reach at least 60% in 2050 to keep global warming well below 1.5 °C.

Electrical equipment which helps control, command and optimise the electricity system is crucial because it improves energy efficiency, streamlines energy demand and supply, and supports the integration of renewable energies. Currently, there are about 8 billion electric motors in use in the EU, consuming nearly 50% of the electricity produced in the Union. Thanks to industrial automation technologies such as variable speed drives, highly efficient contactors and industrial control and automation, it is possible to achieve significant energy savings. For example, in Germany, demand-driven automation technology could deliver additional energy savings of between 10 % and 25 % in machines and plants.

For the reasons exposed above, we believe that it is essential that the EU taxonomy rightly recognises the enabling role of this industry for climate change mitigation, and we stress that:

  1. The full chain of electrical equipment from high voltage, medium voltage and low voltage should be covered in the manufacturing section, ensuring a comprehensive approach
  2. The enabling role of the electrical equipment as a system should be captured as a system. So, the eligible equipment should not be limited only to connected ones, missing other pieces needed to make the full system work.
  3. Industrial automation equipment and solutions should be included in the manufacturing section, either with a dedicated section or under the same section than electrical equipment.

 

Read the full letter here

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