Technical assistance to deliver the economic and political capital of Recovery and Resilience Plans

Deploying technical assistance and building up administrative and logistical capacity is key to boost building renovation projects across Europe and pave the way for a green recovery.

In a letter addressed to the European Commission’s Recovery and Resilience Task Force, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) stressed the importance of strengthening technical assistance for energy efficiency renovations to deliver the economic and political capital of Recovery and Resilience Plans.

The letter says:

“With specific regard to building renovations, we notice that in the draft RRPs there is a general lack of focus on technical assistance, despite the central role it plays in removing the administrative, financial and other practical hurdles for ministries, cities, local authorities, businesses and households to renovate our common building stock.

Due to the specific nature of building renovation programmes and related financial and non-financial barriers that hinder their full deployment, we would suggest that at least 4% of funds allocated to building renovations are spent on technical assistance. For example, this would enable proactive support for public authorities to map out their buildings stock, prepare good long-term renovation strategies, and develop and aggregate renovation proposals5. In addition, these funds could be invested in education and training of workforce (upskilling and reskilling) as well as in information campaigns to increase citizens and businesses’ awareness about the multiple benefits that renovations bring in terms of cost-savings, comfort, improved living conditions and increased productivity.

RECOVER can play a decisive role at this stage of the RRP process by making sure Member States are aware of the importance of integrating horizontal technical assistance programmes in their plans. The clear rationale is that deploying technical assistance and building up administrative and logistical capacity is an enabler for ensuring that the benefits of a swift and green recovery are delivered and felt across countries, regions, cities and individual households.

The alternative is the very real risk of jeopardising the recovery funds’ economic and political capital and its multiple benefits for citizens, the clean energy transition and, ultimately, the European integration project.”

 

Read the full letter

 

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EU-ASE at Towards Net Zero Energy in Buildings

On 1 April, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energu (EU-ASE), Monica Frassoni, participated in the first volume of the webinar series “Towards a net zero energy in buildings”, which which focused on policies, regulations, finance mechanisms and business models.

The online workshop was organised by the European Union Delegation to State of Kuwait, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). The aim of the series is to exchange relevant best practices, information and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on the zero net energy (ZNE) buildings principles in the context of energy transitions and climate change mitigation.

More information on the event here

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EU-ASE at M&M and Reuters Breakingviews Predictions 2021

On 26 January 2021, EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni participated in the webinar “Reuters Breakingviews Predictions 2021”  hosted by M&M in collaboration with Reuters Breakingviews. Ms Frassoni took the floor in the second part of the webinar, which focused on how cities will rebound from the Covid-19 crisis, highlighting the key role of energy efficiency for green recovery.

The session also featured Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, and Stefano Boeri, internationally renowned Architect and Urban Planner, and was moderated by Rob Cox, Global Editor of Reuters Breakingviews.

The recording of the webinar is available here.

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Broad coalition calls on EU not to rely on hydrogen to decarbonise buildings

33 businesses, industry associations, NGOs, and think tanks joined forces to urge the European Commission to prioritise available efficient and sustainable solutions to decarbonise Europe’s building stock, and avoid the direct use of hydrogen.

Addressing EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in an open letter, the co-signatories underline that to achieve a higher 2030 EU climate target, massive emissions reductions in the building sector will be needed (<60% compared to 2015). This requires applying the energy efficiency first principle and boost the integration of renewables, as envisaged by the Renovation Wave strategy.

While it is true that renewable hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, its direct use for heating on a large scale is problematic because it comes with many uncertainties linked to the scalability, costs of its production and inefficiencies, the letter says.

To optimise the process of heat decarbonisation in the medium and long-term, the EU should favour energy efficiency options as they can immediately deliver real carbon savings, while accommodating a growing share of renewable sources.

The co-signatories call on the Commission not to overestimate the potential of “zero-emission gas”, which would be mostly imported from abroad. Doing that would constrain EU taxpayers to fund unnecessary infrastructures, such as gas pipelines (or their upgrade), diverting financial resources from immediately applicable and more sustainable heat decarbonisation solutions.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:
“To achieve higher emission reductions by 2030, the EU must act fast to decarbonise buildings as one of the most energy consuming and polluting sectors. To make this happen, we need to prioritise energy efficiency and renewables, while using hydrogen to decarbonise harder-to-abate sectors, like chemicals and steel.”

 

Read the full letter here

 

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the European Union. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

Media contact
Matteo Guidi
matteo.guidi@euase.eu
+32 493 37 21 42

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Open letter: EU Taxonomy to deliver economic recovery, resilience and sustainability

In response to the European Commission’s consultation on the draft delegated acts for the EU Taxonomy Regulation, EU-ASE has addressed in an open letter the Commission Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Valdis Dombrovskis.

EU-ASE calls on the European Commission to ensure that the taxonomy will play a key role in aligning public and private investments to deliver economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as resilience and long-term sustainability.

To achieve this goal, we believe that the EU Taxonomy should be developed to exclusively promote investments which help us to address the economic, health, environmental and social consequences of climate changes, especially on the young and future generations.

Moreover, the technical screening criteria should systematically factor energy efficiency considerations in the qualification of sustainable activities. This approach should encompass a broad range of economic activities including buildings’ construction, renovation and management, all products manufacturing, and services, in particular energy services.

 

Read the full letter here

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