EU-ASE contribution to the public consultation on “A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies”

The 2020 framework was designed without a comprehensive assessment of the synergies and potential trade-offs between the three targets (as recognized by the Green Paper – page 7, 5th paragraph) and had only two binding targets: one for raising the share of energy consumption produced from renewables (RES) in the European Union (EU) and one for EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. The energy efficiency (EE) target, however, was not binding. In short, the framework is fragmented.

This situation has led to 1) a lack of the necessary regulatory support (i.e. binding targets) for energy efficiency (EE) for which the EU 20% improvement target by 2020 will not be met, 2) a remarkable growth for RES in general terms, but in a incoherent and inconsistent way among different Member States; and 3) the failure of the Emission T rading S cheme (ETS), conceived as the major driver for long term low carbon investments, due to a large surplus of ETS allowances. This only was caused in part by the economic crisis.

To date the EU’s 2020 Climate and Energy framework has been fundamental in reducing GHG emission and strengthen RES. However, it clearly has not delivered the amount of energy savings expected and did not create the right long term signals for investment in EE solutions. More efforts must be focused on EE across Europe to provide industry with certainty in the policy framework and improve consumer acceptance on EE technology, products and services. A holistic approach of this future package is needed to avoid sub- optimization of certain sectors.

When designing policies for 2030, for the business perspective it would be a mistake to see a trade- off between the need for a binding target- based regulatory framework for 2030 and the competitiveness of European industry.

What is in fact needed is a cohesive 2030 framework based on three binding European targets. This will, in our opinion, restore economic competitiveness, reduce energy costs and prices, increase security of supply and sustain economic growth in the EU.

 

 

Second annual EU-ASE high-level dinner debate: energy efficiency at the heart of the New Industrial Policy

Since 2010 the European Alliance to Save Energy has been working to ensure that the positive voices of the energy efficiency industry are heard loud and clear in the EU’s energy policy debate. Our members, some of Europe’s leading energy efficiency solution providers and international organisations, believe strongly that greater energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective solutions to ensure sustainable growth, create jobs, deliver the EU’s decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness.

However, we still have a long way to go to create a European energy efficiency market where businesses can invest, innovate, grow and create local link“shop” and lasting jobs.

The second annual EU-ASE high-level dinner therefore turned its focus to discussing how the EU can help Europe’s energy efficiency industry deliver on its full potential. At the dinner, which was attended by Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, over 30 business leaders presented their views to on why Europe’s energy efficiency industry a central role in the Commission’s forthcoming revision of EU Industrial Policy.

In response to these views, Commissioner Tajani said:

“Energy efficiency presents an agenda of opportunity for Europe. It is one of the only sectors today that can provide concrete solutions for the economic recovery and job creation by increasing the innovation and competitiveness of European industries. Energy efficiency can also help to reduce gas and oil dependence, and reduce the expensive energy bills for both businesses and EU citizens. Industrial and environmental policies must go hand in hand and drive the Third Industrial Revolution.”

EU-ASE House of Commons debate – 28 February 2012

Common Sense Policy in an age of austerity – why the UK needs a European Framework for Energy Efficiency

Over 100 representatives from British businesses and civil society organizations gathered at the House of Commons in London on 28 February, 2012 to discuss why, particularly in these times of austerity, the UK needs a European framework for energy efficiency. The debate which was co-organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), the UK’s Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) and All-Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Group (FPEEG), was particularly relevant as the European Parliament’s ITRE committee had agreed a very forward-looking position on the Energy Efficiency Directive that morning

The Parliament vote set a positive tone for the debate and message from speakers was clear; the UK has the potential to lead the European energy efficiency market, helping not only to create significant jobs and growth opportunities for UK businesses but also to greatly contribute towards achieving the UK and the EU’s wider energy and climate goals. The Energy efficiency Directive is a vehicle to achieve all of this.

Leading British companies are supportive of European action.

According to Tony Robson, CEO of Knauf Insulation, ‘‘The UK has long history of energy efficiency legislation. It is one of the areas where the UK is at the centre of what is right and where the UK can take the lead in Europe ” Martin Schaer added; “We have technology and industry is willing to support”.

But If the EU does not support UK and European businesses, according to Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, ‘We will be left behind again as the US and emerging markets grow’.

The UK coalition government was urged to support a strong Directive
Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, urged the coalition government to work with colleagues in the European Council to raise and not weaken the ambition of the Directive.

In response, the UK’s new Secretary for State for Energy and Climate, Mr Edward Davey, recognized that “energy efficiency is something we can do better together”. He added, “If we get the right Directive it could drive innovation and give investors the certainty they seek and it would good for the economy and competitiveness”. However, he stressed that,“Nevertheless, we need to be realistic [and] there will be some tough negotiations”.

The conclusion; whilst it is going to be a challenge to bridge the gap between the very strong Parliament text and the current very weak council position, the UK can and should lead the charge on the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Energy Efficiency is the next financial gold mine

Representatives from some of Europe’s largest investors and private enterprises joined Europe’s leading policy makers and stakeholders at a half-day workshop on February 13, 2012 in Brussels to discuss “How to mobilise private sector finance for energy efficiency”.
Organised by European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) along with the Danish Presidency of the European Council and the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, this event marked the first time that the world of finance openly discussed the need for a robust regulatory framework for energy efficiency with some of Europe’s key policy makers and campaigners. The focus of the debate was on whether the current proposal for an Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was the best vehicle to deliver this.

With over 100 experts from the world of finance, industry and policy, including an address from Phillip Lowe, Director General of the DG Energy of the European Commission, the discussion was enlightening, yet overall the message was clear: money matters and investors are ready to mobilize energy efficiency investments if they have certainty on their return of investment.

“The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive – An opportunity to support business whilst reducing our dependence on foreign energy supplies”

In June 2011 the European Commission published a new proposal for an Energy Efficiency Directive. The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), Europe’s first business led alliance on energy efficiency, had hoped that this piece of legislation would put Europe where it should be; at the forefront of the global energy efficiency market. Instead, the draft Directive does not yet provide a clear legislative framework for the EU to meet its target of 20% primary energy savings by 2020. We are where we shouldn’t be; increasingly vulnerable to energy price and availability shocks and missing out on the huge opportunity to position European business at the forefront of the new markets for energy efficient goods and services across the globe. The opportunities that a drive towards an energy efficient Europe can provide are too important to miss and therefore we all must ensure that this Directive is transformed into a stepping stone towards success.