EEGlobal 2019 – Doubling down on Energy Efficiency

Join hundreds of energy efficiency influencers at the 2019 EE Global Forum, being held June 11-12 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

Over the last 12 years, EE Global has established itself as the energy efficiency high-level gathering place – the one event that draws together business executives, government leaders, and advocates from across sectors and continents for actionable dialogues on advancing energy efficiency.

This year, EE Global will be Doubling Down on Energy Efficiency, with an agenda focused on facilitating faster, broader implementation of innovative energy efficiency solutions to help mitigate climate change and drive economic growth. For more information, or to make plans to attend, visit www.eeglobalforum.org.

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National Energy and Climate Plans – Pledging low on energy efficiency slows down the energy transition

To: Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy

Brussels, 5 June 2019

 

National Energy and Climate Plans

Pledging low on energy efficiency slows down the energy transition

Dear Commissioner,

The Energy Union is putting energy efficiency at its fore front. So must Member States if the energy transition is to become fast, fair and attractive. We agree that it is an important success that all 28 Member States have come forward with their draft NECPs in short time, but their quality leaves room for improvement.

A broad range of stakeholder analysis showed how the draft plans do not match legal requirements nor expectations. Our own initial assessment revealed that national energy efficiency contributions only reach 27.6% (primary energy) and 30.2% (final energy), well off the EU’s target of at least 32.5% energy efficiency by 2030. Also, the energy efficiency first principle has not been applied to inform energy infrastructure planning.

We noticed in several plans a tendency to be optimistic on economic growth, while shying away from taking strong action on energy efficiency. Exaggerating energy demand and ignoring the energy efficiency potential is not a smart risk hedging strategy. It will jeopardise energy efficiency investments, which are urgently needed to deliver additional greenhouse gas emission reductions, affordable quality housing, clean transport, local jobs and economic growth. This is a dangerous recipe which speeds up the climate and social crisis.

Through the publication of the recommendations on the draft NECPs at the end of June, the European Commission has a key role to play in encouraging governments to increase their contributions and close the 2030 target gap. It is important to remind Member States that they need to build on the successful EU energy efficiency policies and measures and plan for new national ones that will accelerate action and restore a decreasing trend in energy consumption.

Therefore, we call on you to be encouraging and bold in your recommendations for improving the NECPs, particularly on energy efficiency and show determination in protecting the achievements of the Energy Union.

Yours sincerely,

Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General 2


The Coalition for Energy Savings strives to make energy efficiency and savings the first consideration of energy policies and the driving force towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European Union. Its membership unites businesses, professionals, local authorities, cooperatives, consumer and civil society organisations in pursuit of this goal.

Coalition members represent:

  • more than 500 associations, 200 companies, 1,500 cooperatives
  • 15 million supporters and 1 million citizens as members of cooperatives
  • 2,500 cities and towns in 30 countries in Europe

Members of the Coalition:

ACE – Architects’ Council of Europe | APPLiA – Home Appliance Europe | BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation | BPIE – Buildings Performance Institute Europe (advisory member) | CAN – Climate Action Network – Europe | CEE Bankwatch Network | ClientEarth | Climate Alliance | E.V.V.E. – European Association for the Consumption-based Billing of Energy Costs | E3G | eceee – European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy | ECOS – European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation | EEB – European Environmental Bureau | EFIEES – European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services | ehi – Association of the European Heating Industry | Energy Cities | EPEE – European Partnership for Energy and the Environment | eurima – European Insulation Manufacturers Association | EuroACE – The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings | European Alliance to Save Energy | European Climate Foundation | European Copper Institute – Copper Alliance | Friends of the Earth Europe | Glass for Europe | Housing Europe | PU Europe – European Association of Polyurethane Insulation Manufacturers | RAP – The Regulatory Assistance Project (advisory member) | REScoop.eu | T&E – Transport & Environment | WWF European Policy Office

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Shaping Europe’s energy future: energy efficiency in the heating sector

Kamila Waciega, Director, Energy, Public Affairs Department, Veolia

As the European Union is currently discussing its path towards decarbonisation, the essential role of boosting energy efficiency to achieve potential goals for carbon and climate neutrality is unequivocal. In the recently published long-term decarbonisation strategy – a ‘A Clean Planet for All’ – energy efficiency is featured prominently in all eight scenarios outlined by the EU executive, and is specified as the first of seven building blocks identified in the communication. Energy efficiency measures are to play a central role in reaching net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050, halving energy consumption compared to 2005, in all relevant sectors, in particular in buildings, industry and transport.

Yet, we need a more specific pathway for addressing a sector that currently represents 50% of the final energy consumption – the heating sector. Given its weight in the overall energy mix, and consequently, its tremendous potential for decarbonisation, the heating sector should be the one where energy efficiency efforts are deployed first and foremost. It means not only addressing decreased final energy demand (through an accelerated and thorough renovation of the existing building stocks and the construction of new facilities following the principles of near zero energy buildings) but also and above all, searching for ways to reduce primary energy consumption on the supply side.

Maximising the deployment of renewable energies will imply a continuous fossil fuels and will necessarily contribute towards further electrification across Europe. The former however, might bring challenges as regards the investment costs linked to the increased transmissions capacities, and even more importantly, to proven and flexible infrastructures such as high efficiency district heating networks.

While the sirens of radical modernity are always enticing, in many European countries, district energy enables the selection of an optimal energy mix for a given territory, integrating local renewable energy sources such as biomass, geothermal energy and intermittent renewables. They are also the way to exploit the excess heat that can be found locally – in industrial units, data centres, sewage systems and incineration infrastructures. According to Heat Roadmap Europe, excess heat recovery from industry and heat from power production could cover at least 25% of the district heat production. Also, high efficiency district heating networks are often equipped with cogeneration, i.e. systems generating simultaneously electricity and heat, making possible an effective sectoral integration (especially when coupled with gas networks) and increasing overall efficiency. The role of modern district heating should be further reflected in our common vision for a climate neutral Europe 2050 as many sources of low carbon energy and efficiency potentials might not be feasible without their use.


This article is a contribution from a EUSEW Partner. All rights reserved. 

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Energy policies as the bridge between “consumers” and “citizens”

Céline Carré, Head of EU Public Affairs, Saint-Gobain

The energy consumer will be a catalyst towards a decentralized and decarbonized energy system as stipulated in the European Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans communication. He/she will be able to change energy supplier, monitor and adapt consumption pattern, and produce energy.

But how to reconcile these opportunities with the imperative to meet our European 2050 climate goals and subsequently reduce energy demand? How to reinvent consumption in a way that values the services provided by energy, e.g. mobility, warmth, or light, instead of perpetuating a production-consumption-wastage model?

As a simple value proposition to help consumer take ownership of the transition, energy efficiency is a recipe for aligning short term actions and long-term goals, individual and collective responsibilities, and, not least, rich and poor.

Energy efficiency reduces our import dependency and provides continuous growth and jobs impetus. It helps consumers reduce their bills and quit energy poverty, and it makes our lives healthier. Without it, global energy demand today would be fifty percent higher for buildings only, and the prospect of a net zero carbon society by 2050 would be a foolish dream since electricity demand is set to double in sectors like housing and transport.

The question is how to ensure that energy efficiency plays the role it deserves for consumers to benefit from the transition. The following five guiding concepts suggest ways to overcome the risks of inconsistent signals to consumers.

Align vision and action – Giving visibility regarding what each sector should deliver for the transition is needed for consumers to take the right decisions.

Build lasting support – Eurobarometer polls show that Europeans expect more action at EU level to tackle environmental issues. Political leaders should not wait to leverage this deeper climate awareness into more concrete forms of engagement.

Practice inclusiveness – The renewed support for action is an invitation to put every consumer at the center of the game. Not every home owner can afford an nZEB renovation, and those who cannot need support. But let’s not forget to design adequate policy mixes for all those ready to jump on the renovation train.

Educate – Policy-makers can explain better the complementarity of solutions, concepts such as “efficiency first”, and the cost of non-action. In the same way than a healthy diet does not simply consist in adding some vegetables twice a week, and requires eliminating junk food, a healthy energy system starts with eliminating wastage.

Champion frontrunners: The beauty of the energy transition is that it starts very close to us, e.g. in buildings, with better thermal comfort, light, or acoustic conditions, and air quality. There is room for empowering early movers who can share convincing success stories.

We are in a long journey with no secret short-cuts or exit buttons, but where energy efficiency can deliver the essential benefits that underpin societal buy-in towards our 2050 goals. To get there, our leaders need to be bold, grasp the renewed momentum, practice joined-up thinking and place citizens’ aspirations at the core of their policies.


This article is a contribution from a EUSEW Partner. All rights reserved. 

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Climate Action Call ahead of EU Elections and new Commission

The climate crisis is an existential threat to humanity. Climate change is already severely impacting people’s lives, particularly in the world’s most vulnerable countries, but also in Europe.

Scientists say that we face a climate emergency. We need decisive action in the next 10 years to put us on a transformative pathway in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement, including efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. We must act immediately to get on track for a healthy, fair and livable future.

This will not only reduce devastating impacts of climate change but also bring major economic and social benefits, attract new investments, create new quality jobs and limit health damages.

The European Parliament elections and subsequent changes in the leadership of the European Commission will shape the politics of the European Union for the next five years, a crucial period for climate action where emissions need to decline fast, targets need to be strengthened and ambitious action needs to be implemented. The new Parliament and the new Commission must address growing concerns about climate change and make climate action a top priority for Europe.

Therefore, we call upon the new European Parliament, the new European Commission and all EU Member State governments to:

 

  1. Commit to accelerate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.

The world is not on track to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C. We support the call from United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, upon all leaders to come to his special UN Climate Summit in September with additional commitments that will lead to halving global emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero  by 2050. By the Summit, EU leaders should agree to reach climate neutrality in line with the EU’s fair share of the effort to achieve net zero global emissions by 2050. Furthermore, EU leaders must agree on a plan to substantially increase its 2030 targets.

 

  1. Plan the end of the use of fossil fuels and provide strong support to energy efficiency, renewable energy and emission cuts outside the energy sector

Our economic development no longer depends on fossil fuels. In fact, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies have become cheaper and are more beneficial for all. EU decision makers need to plan to phase out coal, gas and oil use, starting with immediately ending all financial support to fossil fuel infrastructure. At the same time, they need to  increase support to research, innovation and deployment of clean alternatives, including through prioritising energy efficiency across all sectors and investing in sustainable renewable energy. Ambitious climate and energy targets should be complemented by stronger immediate action in all sectors to achieve quick emission cuts.

  1. Safeguard a just and fair transition and ensure that the EU increases its support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change

The zero emissions transition needs to be just, orderly and fair, benefiting everyone and leaving no one behind. This should be done by integrating strong social measures, supportive industrial and business policies and safeguarding workers’ and human rights. Regions that are still highly dependent on fossil fuels, as well as regions highly affected by climate change, such as maritime regions, should be supported in this transition. Europe must also substantially increase its financial and other support for climate action and resilience in developing countries, which are being hardest hit by climate change.

  1. Increase efforts to roll out the circular economy and increase resource efficiency

We live on a resource-constrained planet where using resources efficiently is necessary for continued prosperity and well-being. The EU should build circularity and resource efficiency into all future policies to facilitate the efforts to decarbonise all economic and industrial sectors.

  1. Recognise biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration as a crucial component of climate action

The zero emissions transition cannot happen without substantial investments in the restoration of our ecosystems. This must include efforts to protect and improve the natural capacity of forests and soils to absorb past and present carbon pollution, while promoting sustainable practices, within the EU and beyond our borders.

 

Time is running out and the urgency to act is crystal clear. Citizens, regional and local authorities, financial institutions, businesses, and other stakeholders are mobilising and acting at their level in every possible way to call for more climate action.

Now, more than ever, we look to our governments to govern, to set the necessary rules, targets, policies and measures to protect citizens in the EU and elsewhere from the negative impacts of climate change, and reap the full social, economic and environmental benefits of the transition.

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