The water-energy nexus: an untapped resource for major energy savings

Water requires energy. When we move it, clean it, heat it and cool it—energy moves with it. These two precious resources come together seamlessly in our daily lives, but they can also jointly create significant energy savings. Unleashing the potential of the water-energy nexus will drive substantial energy savings to repower the EU while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says Hayati Yarkadas at Xylem Europe on Foresight Climate & Energy ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day. 

The water-energy nexus refers to the link between energy use in water management and water use in energy production. Water and wastewater infrastructure account for 3.7% of the global electricity consumption. The good news is that any efficiency gains in one benefits the other.

And by using high-efficiency technologies, we can cut half of that energy consumption at zero or negative cost. This would be equivalent to removing 9.2 million fossil-fuelled cars per year and it would free up $40 billion to invest in other types of water infrastructure.

The nexus also holds the potential to generate large-scale energy and water savings across sectors and drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—an important element to address the impending climate change crisis.

We must move to an energy-neutral wastewater sector to achieve climate neutrality in Europe.

 

Read the full article here

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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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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EU-ASE to host first edition of European Energy Efficiency Day in October 2022

On 13 October 2022 the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) will host the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day, a high-level policy conference bringing together policymakers, leading industry players and energy experts to explore cost efficient and socially fair decarbonisation paths.

According to the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 report, achieving climate neutrality by 2050 requires to pushing the average average rate of energy efficiency improvements in the period 2020-2030 to about three times that he average of the last two decades. The importance of energy efficiency is even more evident in the current context of high energy prices and to significantly reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible.

Improving energy efficiency throughout the EU can be done through massively scaling up energy efficient solutions for buildings, vehicles, home appliances and industry. Solutions and technologies which are all available today.

In this context, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) has felt the need to launch a new forum to discuss the future of energy and how to decarbonise Europe’s economy through the lenses of energy efficiency, innovation and long-term sustainability.

The European Energy Efficiency Day is a high-level policy conference aimed at exploring cost efficient and socially fair decarbonisation paths to address the energy and climate crisis and deliver the European Green Deal.

Through a series of six sessions throughout the day, the event will bring together key EU and national policymakers, leading industry players, as well as experts from the energy and environment community.

The first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day will take place on 13 October 2022 as an online event.

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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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EU-ASE at webinar on decarbonising heating in buildings (Italy)

On Tuesday 19 April, EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni spoke at the webinar Aspettative dalla legislazione italiana ed europea, the fifth of a series of webinars organised by Legambiente and Kyoto Club as part of the campaign Per la decarbonizzazione: efficienza energetica e riscaldamento negli edifici in Italia. The aim of the project is to raise awareness among public opinion, companies and public decision-makers, proposing amendments to current Italian and European legislation.

The event speakers were Eleonora Evi, Italian Member of the European Parliament, Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE and Giulia Lupo, Senator of the Italian Republic.

Watch the recording here

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