EU-ASE at Towards Net Zero Energy in Buildings

On 1 April, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energu (EU-ASE), Monica Frassoni, participated in the first volume of the webinar series “Towards a net zero energy in buildings”, which which focused on policies, regulations, finance mechanisms and business models.

The online workshop was organised by the European Union Delegation to State of Kuwait, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The aim of the series is to exchange relevant best practices, information and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on the zero net energy (ZNE) buildings principles in the context of energy transitions and climate change mitigation.

More information on the event here

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Boosting energy efficiency through the revision of State Aid rules

The European Commission should revise EU State Aid rules so they can help boost energy efficiency across Europe.

To ensure that the energy markets are fair, flexible, and secure, the EU State Aid rules must address investment gaps by providing enabling conditions for attracting private investment. This is politically relevant considering the context of the Renovation Wave Strategy, which calls for doubling annual energy renovation rates, and considering the investments in energy efficiency improvements required to contribute to the decarbonisation of the industrial sector.

The European Commission recently announced the plan to revise the Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (EEAG) and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GEBR) to provide an enabling framework for public authorities to support high-quality renovation while making the most efficient use of limited public funds.

Pending the revision, the Commission announced in the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and European Green Deal Investment Plan that the current State Aid rules will be applied with the flexibility to support an increase in the rate and depth of energy efficiency improvements, stressing that aid to energy efficiency investments would be simplified and enhanced.

While we support more flexibility in the short-term, we call on the Commission to also seize this moment to:

  • Decisively create a level playing field for energy efficiency investments;
  • Address the overall complexity by simplifying requirements on eligible costs; and
  • Provide clear guidance on the current EU State Aid rules for energy efficiency.

 

Read the full paper

 

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The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive to fully realise water and energy savings (updated)

Overall, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) has played a substantial role in improving the quality of European water resources and reducing pollution levels in water bodies. However, Europe remains some way from full compliance with collection and treatment requirements and has made little progress with water reuse. We believe the 28-year-old Directive should be updated to better address these critical issues and today’s challenges including climate change, resource scarcity, increased energy consumption and population growth.

 Read the full paper

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The contribution of water efficiency and energy savings to the European Green Deal

With this workshop, co-organised with the Maltese Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, we explored policy, technological and practical approaches to fully realise the highly needed energy savings and achieve the emissions-reduction potential of the water-energy nexus.

Water and energy are highly interdependent (‘water-energy nexus’) and should be considered as such across all European Union policies. This would ensure the availability of Europe’s water resources, while supporting the EU energy and climate objectives, in particular those related to energy efficiency.

Energy is needed to abstract, distribute, heat, cool, treat and desalinate water. Water and wastewater sectors account for 3.5% of electricity use in the EU and that share is expected to rise over the next years. For municipalities, water and waste water facilities account for the largest consumption of electricity, representing 30-40% of local authorities’ total electricity bill.

Smart water management across the water sector as well as industrial, commercial, and residential water cycles can lead to significant energy savings. The key is to fully understand the energy-water nexus, its ability to generate water and energy efficiencies, and its contribution to deliver the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal.

The workshop featured:

  • A keynote address from Miriam Dalli, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Malta
  • An overview of the EU policy and regulatory framework related to the water-energy nexus by Veronica Manfredi, Director for Quality of Life, DG Environment, European Commission; and Robert Nuij, Deputy Head of Unit for Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission
  • Case studies presentations by leading businesses to support current EU policy implementation and future policy and regulatory developments
  • Q&A with the panelists
  • Conclusions by Simona Bonafè, Member of the European Parliament and of the ENVI and ITRE Committees

Watch the recording of the event on our YouTube channel

The full presentation is available here

Our publication:
Water-energy nexus and energy saving obligations: industry success stories

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Considerations on the draft Recovery and Resilience Plans of Italy and Spain

The National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) are a unique opportunity to boost the economy, safeguard and/or create good jobs and win the fight against climate change in the short and long term.

According to the available drafts, both Italy and Spain, two of the biggest beneficiaries of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, seem to be providing some positive signals for investors, consumers and other stakeholders by allocating significant financial means to boost energy efficient building renovations. 

Still, we believe there is room for improvements with regards to the coherence of the plans with the National Energy and Climate Plans and the higher EU climate ambition for 2030. This paper contains the recommendations of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) on how to strengthen the energy efficiency component in both plans, as a driver for green recovery and resilience.

 

Considerations on Italy’s and Spain’s RRPs (English version)
Considerations on Italy’s RRP (Italian version)
Considerations on Spain’s RRP (Spanish version)

 

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