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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Wide coalition of stakeholders spells out expectations on “Fit for 55” package

Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on 25 May about the new climate and energy legislation (so called Fit for 55 Package), EU-ASE joined with European businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs calling upon EU decision makers to ensure that the upgraded climate and energy legislation increases the EU’s climate ambition to the highest possible level.

Signed by 50 organisations, the joint letter highlights that “If the European Green Deal is the EU’s growth strategy, the new climate and energy legislation should be its engine”. Based on this principle, the letter calls upon the EU Heads of State to further step up the EU’s climate action by expanding the scope of the EU 2030 target. It also urges EU decision makers to strengthen the Emission Trading System and to maintain and increase nationally binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) covering emissions from road transport, buildings and agriculture and waste.

Finally, the letter reminds the importance of increasing targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with higher climate ambition and ensuring that they are binding, and concludes by highlighting the need to have full synergy between climate and energy legislation and other EU targets, policies and measures.

Stakeholders representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, investors with over €37tn in assets, more than 1.100 companies and 390 NGOs, emphasise the importance of creating synergy between the “Fit for 55” Package and national, local and regional EU funding opportunities in order to send a strong signal that EU funds will support the implementation of the EU’s enhanced climate objectives.

 

Read the full letter

 

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