Strengthening technical assistance to deliver the Renovation Wave

AGENDA

10:00 Setting the scene and moderation
Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy

10:05 Cohesion policies and technical assistance
Nicola de Michelis, Director for Smart & Sustainable Growth and Programme Implementation, DG Regio, European Commission
Cristina Rehberger, Deputy Director for Programming & Evaluation of European Funds, Ministry of Finance, Spain
Quentin Galland, Public Affairs Director, Knauf Insulation
Jordi Manrique, Public and Government Affairs Manager, Signify Spain & Portugal

10:35 Supporting Member States to implement energy efficiency projects
Nathalie Berger, Director for Support to Member States’ Reforms, DG Reform, European Commission
Renzo Tomellini, Head of the Technical Secretariat of Minister Cingolani, Ministry of Ecological Transition, Italy
Brook Riley, Head of EU Affairs, Rockwool
Julie Kjestrup, Head of EU Affairs, Danfoss

11:05 Boosting technical assistance through EU legislation
Paula Pinho, Director for Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, DG Energy, European Commission
Bertrand Deprez, Vice President EU Government Affairs, Schneider Electric
Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Affairs, Signify

Lack of technical support and inadequate administrative capacity are among the key barriers preventing the scale-up of energy efficiency projects in the EU Member States.

Technical assistance plays a central role in removing the administrative, financial and other hurdles for ministries, cities, local authorities, businesses and households to renovate buildings. This webinar brought together representatives of the European Commission, national governments and leading businesses to discuss how to strengthen technical assistance and deliver a wave of renovations across Europe.

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Carbon pricing in buildings? Help renovate and switch to renewables first

Including buildings in an emissions trading scheme will have a limited impact on emissions and should, at most, complement other measures like substantially increasing renovation rates, switching to renewables and phasing out fossil fuels subsidies, writes on Euractiv Monica Frassoni, president of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

On 14 July, the European Commission unveiled its long-awaited roadmap to reach the European Union’s higher emissions reduction target for 2030, the so-called “Fit for 55” package.

No wonder it chose the day traditionally celebrating the French revolution as the scope and ambitions of this massive legislative package are considerable. With it, came the proposal of setting up a parallel Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for road transport and heating fuels, certainly one of the most contentious measures of the package.

According to the Commission, this proposal aims to address the lack of emissions reductions in road transport and buildings, which together account for almost 60% of EU emissions. Over the last few years, emissions from the building sector have not decreased significantly, while those from road transport have even increased.

The need to act fast and with concrete steps to reduce emissions in these sectors is clear. So seems the Commission’s logic behind the proposal: if the ETS brought emissions down in the energy sector, why wouldn’t it be the case for buildings and road transport?

There are a few reasons why carbon pricing in buildings could at best complement, but not replace – and should not distract from – policies and incentives to substantially increase renovation rates, switch to renewables and phase out fossil fuels subsidies.

Read the full article

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The need for speed | EUSEW 2021

by Harry Verhaar Head of Global Public & Government Affairs and Chairman of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

In this climate-critical decade, Europe is faced with the extraordinary task of drastically improving our environmental impact, while also repairing economies left shaken by the effects of COVID-19. Now is not the time to split our priorities: the actions we take to mitigate climate change and those we take to accelerate economic recovery must work both in harmony and at pace.

Both effectively and economically, energy efficiency improvements are the best strategy at our disposal for a swift reduction in carbon emissions. With buildings accounting for 40% of energy consumed and 36% of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the European Commission’s Renovation Wave strategy gives us an excellent foundation on which to start.

Everything that can be done to improve the footprint of our buildings, should be done: insulation, modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technology, and digital solutions like building management systems that can monitor and optimise energy expenditure. Among these key improvements, we should not forget one of the quickest wins: lighting. Two-thirds of installed lighting is legacy technology, with 1.3 billion conventional light points across Europe that could be switched to LED. Through this alone, the EU could save around EUR 40 billion and eliminate 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. This quick, simple, and low-cost intervention comes with relatively little disruption to the building’s occupiers, and the payback is fast.

Increasing renovation rate and depth will positively impact economic growth, investments, innovation and competitiveness, and lead to a reduced reliance on fossil fuels, in turn improving Europe’s energy security. And economically, the impact of building renovation will most benefit the local SMEs who make up more than 90% of companies in the building sector. Accelerated activity on this level creates jobs for those with displaced incomes due to the global pandemic.

Read the full article on the EUSEW 2021 blog

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Carbon pricing and buildings: A new trigger for the Renovation Wave?

Buildings are responsible for around 40% of CO2 emissions in the EU. To decarbonise this sector, the European Commission is considering introducing a carbon price. The workshop looked into the opportunities and challenges of a carbon pricing for buildings, starting from the lessons of Germany as a first mover in Europe.  

According to the Renovation Wave Communication, to achieve the 55% GHG emissions reduction target by 2030, the EU should reduce buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions by 60%. This can only be achieved by at least doubling the renovation rate as soon as possible. In addition to a substantial revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the European Commission is considering to include in its upcoming “Fit for 55” package a proposal to cover sectors such as buildings and road transport by an emissions trading scheme. However, the particularities of the building sector, such as the low price-elasticity of energy demand, the ownership structure of buildings and the split incentives dilemma, would require caution and a thorough assessment of the consequences of introducing such policy.

What should be the contribution of a carbon price in the policy mix for a decarbonised building sector? Can it trigger a Renovation Wave and a switch to fully-renewable heating? What needs to be kept in mind when designing a new carbon pricing scheme for buildings?

This workshop, co-organised with the the German Business Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF), dived into the subject of carbon pricing in buildings by looking at lessons from Germany, where a recently launched carbon pricing scheme for buildings is hotly debated.

 

View the agenda
Watch the recording here
More about our considerations on carbon pricing

 

 

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Monica Frassoni’s speech at launch of EASAC report “Decarbonisation of buildings for climate, health and jobs”

On 2 June 2021, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy Monica Frassoni participated in the panel discussion for the launch of the report “Decarbonisation of buildings: for climate, health and jobs” by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC). 

Here are some excerpts from her speech:

  • The holistic approach of the study is great. There is no silver bullet for the decarbonization of buildings. We need several approaches and to enhance the use of existing technologies There is no time to invest in uncertain technologies. Efficiency measures in industry, buildings, appliances and transport already exist and can be put into effect and scaled up very quickly.
  • Energy Efficiency is an existing and certain technology. Energy Efficiency, intended as reducing energy demand and optimising consumption, is recognized but we didn’t notice anywhere in the report the specific reference to make “Energy Efficiency First” principle (EE1) a pillar of the EU future energy system.
  • The EE1 is needed to get all the non-energy related benefits of decarbonizing buildings, to alleviate energy poverty, to correctly size the RES supply required to match buildings residual energy demand, to improve the flexibility of buildings and their capacity to store energy, to phase out fossil fuels and avoid stranded assets as well as increase our energy security); The EE1 is instrumental to energy system integration and finally the principle is a driver for energy, resource/material efficiency and full application of circularity principle.

 

Read the full excerpts

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