Adding energy efficiency into the energy mix is essential to delivering Europe’s climate goals

Simply rolling out renewables will not be enough to end Europe’s dependency on gas. Energy efficiency is just as important, writes Katarzyna Wardal on Foresight Climate & Energy ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day.

Energy efficiency should be considered as important as other power generation fuel types Despite it not often making the headlines, energy stakeholders and lawmakers know that energy efficiency can drastically reduce the carbon footprint of Europe’s building stock, which currently accounts for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.

But what about energy efficiency as a form of fuel? That may sound like an absurd suggestion. Yet this is exactly the type of idea we need if Europe is to have even a remote chance of achieving any of its ambitious energy and climate goals, whether it is gaining energy independence, reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030 or becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

At least 75% of the EU building stock is energy inefficient. Among other factors, these buildings lack the proper insulation needed to keep heat in (or, in the summer, out). Therefore, they need higher flow temperatures to deliver the same level of indoor comfort. Needless to say, getting that higher temperature requires more energy.

This highlights the correlation between energy efficiency and energy use. With heating and cooling responsible for an estimated 35% of a building’s total energy consumption, increasing a building’s energy efficiency can go a long way in reducing fuel use. In other words, the more efficient the building, the more energy saved. As these savings means less energy needs to be produced, energy efficiency should not only be included in the energy mix but given equal footing to other fuel types.

Read the full article here.

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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To get rid of Russian fossil fuels, the EU needs to put energy savings first

The REPowerEU plan must come with credible, actionable measures that governments, citizens and industry can implement by following the Green Deal agenda and notably energy savings measures. To support this, the EU can count on clean, made-in-Europe technologies that are at the heart of the energy transition, write Monica Frassoni and Harry Verhaar in Euractiv.

The aggression against Ukraine by Putin is not only a tragic reminder that peace is never an evidence but also another powerful reminder of the urgency of getting rid of our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerating the full implementation of an ambitious Green Deal. Over the past decades, the EU hesitated to address its reliance on fossil fuels import, a well-known threat to the block’s energy security.

In 2021 the EU imported more than 40% of its fossil gas consumption from Russia, about 155 billion cubic meters. A considerable amount of this gas is needed to heat Europe’s old and inefficient buildings. Fossil gas accounts for more than 32% of the EU’s final energy consumption in households. If we also consider the indirect use of gas for electricity production, we have the extent of Europe’s gas reliance problem and the risks of its dependency on energy imports.

We welcomed the immediate reaction of the Commission in March with the REPowerEU communication, despite its excessive focus on diversification of gas supply. We are confident that the action plan published on 18 May will be much more coherent with the need to reduce our dependence on Russian gas and fossil fuels altogether through an acceleration of energy efficiency measures and renewables deployment.

The REPowerEU plan must come with credible, actionable measures that governments, citizens and industry can implement by following the Green Deal agenda and notably energy savings measures. To support this, the EU can count on clean, made-in-Europe technologies that are at the heart of the energy transition. A broad range of short and mid-term measures to address the energy and climate crisis is available. We believe that by deploying energy efficiency measures in buildings, industry, transport and the water sector, Europe can deliver massive energy savings and substantially reduce Europe’s fossil fuel imports.

Read the full article in Euractiv 

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Interview with Radio24 (Italy)

The European Parliament last week voted by a large majority for a resolution calling for further sanctions against Russia, as well as for an amendment for a complete and immediate EU embargo on imports of Russian oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas.

EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni was interviewed on this topic on the morning programme of Radio24, Italy’s leading business radio station.

The podcast is available here (in Italian)

L'Europa vota per l'embargo alla Russia

by Radio24 with Monica Frassoni

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Letter in Financial Times: Renovating buildings will help reduce energy bills

On 9 November the Financial Times published in its print edition a letter by the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni.

Stepping up building energy renovations offers a solution to the issue of soaring energy bills, yet this is overlooked by decision makers, the letter says.

Today, which energy efficient technologies, it is possible to reduce buildings’ energy needs for heating and cooling by 60%. Still the average renovation rate of the EU’s building stock remains under 1% per year.

With over 34m people living in energy poverty, we are playing with fire, the letter continues. Energy efficiency is a rational, cost-effective and systemic solution for the energy price surge.

Read the full letter here

The letter can also be found on the FT website.

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Interview with Debating Europe

EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni was interviewed by Debating Europe as part of the debate How can we make Europe’s buildings more energy-efficient?, organised in cooperation with the Climate Pact. During the interview, she replied to the questions sent by European citizens on the topic.

Watch the debate How can we make Europe’s buildings more energy efficient?

Debating Europe is a project of Friends of Europe. It hosts a successful online discussion platform based on a simple model: citizens ask questions, policymakers and experts respond. Since launching, it has built a 6 million strong community of citizens and a social media following of over 271,000 people from across Europe. To date, a selection of 180,000 questions has been put to over 3000 key policymakers and experts.

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