Making green energy affordable
Spain’s first energy cooperative allows thousands to power their homes using electricity from renewable energy sources.
On Energy Information Day 5 December, the Charlemagne building in Brussels was packed to capacity as delegates travelled from all over the EU to learn about the new opportunities for funding energy projects in Horizon 2020.
A new edition of the most prestigious award competition in sustainable energy is now open. The 2014 Sustainable Energy Europe and ManagEnergy awards will once again highlight public and private initiatives that are actively contributing to the EU’s 2020 energy and climate objectives. Want to show off your achievements in energy efficiency, renewable energy or clean transport? Does your project or organisation deserve recognition and increased visibility for its commitment to building a more sustainable Europe? Then you're invited to take part!
Horizon 2020 is a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of just over EUR 70 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
Member States looking to finance energy efficient renovation of buildings have unprecedented opportunity to do so in the upcoming European Structural and Investment (ESI) funding period 2014-2020. More than EUR 23 billion is available for the low carbon economy - which includes energy efficiency and renewables.
In conversation with BUILD UP, Rod Janssen, long-term consultant to the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) talks about the Recast EPBD, low energy buildings and the need for strong leadership on energy efficiency. National energy agencies have an important role to play – and local government, local authorities and energy agencies need to learn how to bundle money.
Sustainable energy in Cambridgeshire, UK received a major boost recently with the local authority decision to seed an investment fund for local low carbon infrastructure with almost EUR 18 million. The decision stems from the findings of the project Mobilising Local Energy Investment (MLEI) Cambridgeshire. Supported by Intelligent Energy Europe, this project has been running since late 2012, to respond directly to the need for upfront investment in low carbon infrastructure and on a scale that brings real local economic benefits and carbon reductions, and helps tackle energy security issues.
The Energy saving in municipal building (ENSAMB) project was launched in 2012; it aims to achieve at least 25% energy savings in 120 municipal buildings—representing 11 GWh/year and an estimated investment of €11.2 million.
Crowdfunding of renewable energy projects is growing fast in Europe. If this grassroots movement gets organized in time to access the big money available in the next round of cohesion funding, it could have far reaching effects on the European energy sector.
By Gemma Belén & Antonio Belmar, Alicante Energy Agency (Spain)
The example of the Province of Alicante illustrates the important role energy agencies can play in developing regional energy strategies.
In line with the 2010 Energy Performance in Buildings Directive, the Zemgale Regional Energy Agency (ZREA) is taking an active role in the promotion of the refurbishment of multi-residential buildings. The aim is to improve the energy efficiency of the building stock and significantly reduce the associated CO2 emissions.
The City of the Sun, a housing development nearing completion in the Netherlands, is one of the largest urban-scale photovoltaic projects in Europe. Located 40km north of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Heerhugowaard, the community aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2030, and is well on the way toward achieving this goal through its pioneering use of renewable energy.
In 1997, the Danish island of Samsø entered a renewable energy competition sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. The challenge was for competing islands to present a convincing master plan for converting their entire energy systems to renewables within a period of 10 years. Samsø won by submitting the most feasible plan.
How to successfully bring local stakeholders together to engage in energy projects was the dominant theme at the CONCERTO conference earlier this week. According to Declan Meally of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland ‘It is crucial to find a local champion that pulls the project.’
In the UK, awareness of climate change and its relation to energy supply is at an all-time high. The current technological and legislative context in that country now offers significant ﬁnancial incentive for the expansion of renewable energy systems, and this has created an attractive environment for shared investment in renewable energy technologies.
Marie Donnelly, Director DG Energy announced a new campaign at the Renovate Europe Day 2012 on 11 October in Brussels. The campaign is to promote and build capacity for energy performance contracting and ESCO throughout Europe as a tool to implement SEAPs and deliver on the 20-20-20 goals.
Common agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive was achieved in June, leading to the formal adoption by the Council of the European Union on 4 October.
Before 2005, the municipality of Middelfart in southern Denmark had little experience with energy conservation in their buildings portfolio. But, facing a backlog in the maintenance of many buildings and a growing interest in reducing CO2 emissions, the municipality decided to tackle energy conservation head-on.
Best estimates put the number of renewable energy cooperatives in Europe somewhere around 1,200. In most countries no national federation of cooperatives exists. This makes producing an inventory of cooperatives that deal specifically with renewable energy a challenge.
Across Europe, the renewables sector increased market share in 2011, with ‘bold local initiatives’ cited as a leading factor in the sector’s growth.