Investing in energy efficiency: if not now when?

As the cheapest & cleanest energy is the one we don’t need, rapidly increasing energy savings is of outmost importance to address the current crises, says Monica Frassoni in Euractiv, ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day conference. 

More than two hundred days have passed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting a tragic conflict in Europe with no clear end in sight. The use of energy as a weapon by Vladimir Putin shows that by delaying plans for a clean energy transition the EU is more vulnerable and insecure.

While emergency plans are underway to respond to the crisis, skyrocketing prices of wholesale fossil gas and electricity pose a real challenge to struggling citizens and businesses and put at great risk the post-pandemic recovery.

Today, the pressing question everyone is asking is: how can we make it through the next winter and how can we reduce quickly energy prices? But the real question should be: how can we make it through the next four-five winters and burning summers, and at the same time accelerate carbon emissions reduction.

Because the cheapest and cleanest energy is the one we do not need, rapidly increasing energy savings is of outmost importance. By mainly focusing on diversification of gas supply many governments are underestimating the massive savings potential that is currently untapped at end-use and system levels via retrofitting, demand-side flexibility and by accelerating the digital transition.

 

Read the full article by Monica Frassoni on Euractiv

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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Energy Efficiency and renewables are two sides of the same lucky coin

Energy efficiency measures, coupled with renewables, are the right tools for achieving carbon neutrality and protecting our energy sovereignty, says Francesco Venturini of Enel X Global Retail ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day.

 

Citizens, businesses and local governments must join forces to equip themselves with facilities for the production and self-consumption of energy from renewable sources by promoting virtuous behaviours.

Today, market transformation is happening in a very disruptive way. The historical events of the past six months demand an impressive acceleration of the trajectory outlined by the European Green Deal in 2019. Looking back at the past eight years, global investments in clean energies have blossomed to $371 billion, an increase of approximately $60 billion compared to 2014 levels.

Is there enough to go around? The answer for most of us is simple: no.

The Ukraine conflict and its consequent war on prices are proving that our society does not have access to abundant, reliable, cheap and clean energy—placing its economic and social progress at stake. 

But we still have a lucky coin in our pocket: energy efficiency measures can substantially reduce Europe’s carbon footprint if combined with consistent investments in renewable energy.

Read the full article here

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A battle for the climate inside buildings

Amidst the climate and energy crisis, Europe’s ageing building stock provides a challenge—and an opportunity, says Julie Kjestrup of the VELUX Group ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day.

There are more benefits to energy efficiency measures than simply saving money. Climate change is happening rapidly and so are the consequences of not fighting it adequately, intentionally and consistently. Despite scientists showing us the marked impact of climate change as well as what we need to do to mitigate it, we are not currently on the right path towards meeting the Paris Agreement and the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. Add to that the recent hike in energy prices and fast action is essential. We can still get on track if we all play our part by taking responsibility and acting now. 

 

Read the full article here

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Decarbonisation through digitalisation: The key role of smart city districts in boosting energy efficiency

Smart buildings are energy-saving, sustainable buildings. Clustered into smart city districts, they play a crucial role in climate protection. The adaptive, open-source technology to make this possible is already available, says Matthias Rebellius of Siemens Smart Infrastructure on Foresight Climate & Energy ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day. 

Decarbonisation comes with a simple truth: kilowatt-hours that are not consumed do not have to be produced. They do not have to be stored or distributed. And when we are saving energy to avoid carbon emissions, this becomes all the more critical.

Efficiency is key, especially in the building sector. Buildings account for 40% of global energy consumption. But the average building still wastes up to 50% of the energy it consumes. Equipping or retrofitting a building with digitalised, networked and intelligent systems can reduce its ecological footprint by up to 80%.

Efficiency is more than modern insulation and state-of-the-art heating systems. We need smart building technologies and efficient building operations if we are going to move the needle on decarbonisation, especially in brownfield applications. A huge amount of leverage is being wasted. Buildings should—and can—contribute much more to the global decarbonisation effort.

Yet we must not focus just on buildings. We have to take into account synergies and efficiency gains on the community and city levels.

 

Read the full article here

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EED recast: Parliament’s ITRE committee outlines its visions to revise the Directive

On Tuesday 13 July 2022, the ITRE committee of the European Parliament adopted its position to revise the Energy Efficiency Directive, a key file of the Fit for 55 package to put the EU on track towards reducing at least 55% of GHG emissions by 2030 and phase out fossil fuel imports from Russia.

Exactly one year after the presentation by the Commission of the ‘Fit for 55%’ package, aimed to put the European Union on track to reduce GHG emissions by at least 55% in 2030, the ITRE committee acknowledges that energy efficiency must be substantially increased to combat climate change and make the European Union less dependent on energy imports.

In view of today’s energy crisis, MEPs in the ITRE committee agreed to set energy efficiency binding targets for the Union and for the Member States, both for primary and final energy consumption by 2030. This is a very timely and long-awaited approach that we strongly support.

Monica Frassoni, President of the Alliance, said: “We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of this energy price crisis. Without a strong policy signal from the EU to put energy savings first, citizens and businesses will suffer the consequences. And the climate crisis is even more worrying with natural catastrophes impacting our lives on a daily basis. There is an opportunity in the plenary of the Parliament to fix the shortcomings of the Directive and in particular the exclusion of mandatory renovation of social housing and the partial consideration of energy efficiency savings from fossil fuel appliances. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with the Institutions to improve the directive. There is a good basis to work with and succeed, no ifs and buts, to structurally address both energy and climate crisis”.

You can find the full press release here

Media contact:
Antoan Montignier
+32 499 84 97 28
antoan.montignier@euase.eu

About us The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the EU, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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