On 28 February 2013, Irish Energy Minister, Pat Rabbitte formally announced a €70m Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) that he says will “dramatically improve energy efficiency savings in public and commercial buildings right across the country.”
The ManagEnergy initiative, with the support of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme, has taken up the challenge of making stakeholders — especially local authorities — aware of this potential. One way ManagEnergy is doing this is through the organisation of Capacity Building Workshops around Europe. During 2012 alone, 11 of these workshops were held. This article reflects on the outcomes of one of the most recent from last year, which took place in Slovenia on the 20th and 21st of November.
An identified barrier to the widespread use of renewable energy technologies is the lack of understanding in the public, at a political level and within the industry sector about the benefits, opportunities and capabilities of renewable energies (RE). One reason is that the communication of the RE sector may not be convincing enough.
How does the availability of car-parking spaces impact on retail? Less than we think –according to Professor Tom Rye from Lund University in Sweden. Parking has a key influence over how people travel. For example, 85% of commuters who drive into central London in the morning rush hour have a free parking space provided by their employer. The implementation of a controlled parking zone in districts 5-9 in Vienna led to a 25% reduction in people driving to the area (COST342 Report on Parking, 2006).
Bernhard Hachleitner, a journalist working for the Traffic Club of Austria VCÖ, talks about a tool dealing with energy certifications for estates which is one of the keys to eco-friendly mobility.
During OPEN DAYS EACI organized a workshop together with DG Regio, on Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). In the continuing campaign , the European Commission encourages public authorities at all levels to retrofit their building stocks , EACI highlighted how regions and cities can benefit from EPC and showed successful examples from London, Paris, Berlin and Prague.
ManagEnergy capacity building workshops have primarily focused on energy performance contracting in 2012-2013, in support of DG Energy’s campaign. Nils Daugaard and Ezgi Basar report from the campaign trail and compare market success factors.
Earlier this month, during Open Days, the Covenant of Mayors, together with DG Regio and DG Energy, organised a conference on the new 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and its implications for sustainable energy investment in Europe.
Financing renewable energy projects was top of the agenda at CROENERGY2013 earlier this month – and the networking event organized by REGEA and FEDARENE was at the centre of the action. Hailed as ‘Energy event of the year’ by the Croatian media,the event attracted high level political support.
It’s Open Days! What a week as over 6 000 visitors come from all over Europe to this showcase event where cities and regions demonstrate their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance. See ManagEnergy’s pick of events below – stay tuned for reports or watch the live webstreaming here – and if you’re in Brussels come and pick up some brand new publications Accelerating change – delivering sustainable energy solutions and ManagEnergy Good Practices 2013. Happy Open Days – see you there!
Retrofitting public buildings with energy-saving technology – including low-energy lighting and high-efficiency boilers – presents one of a number of opportunities for government to ‘move the dial’ on infrastructure, growth and supporting local job creation within the next couple of years. As it reduces energy usage, retrofitting also offers an attractive route to making savings in departmental budgets.
Last month, in Prague, ManagEnergy joined an official meeting of the Enterprise Europe Network’sSector Group for Intelligent Energy. EEN’s sector groups—of which there are 17—help companies make the most of the European marketplace. They work through local business organizations to help companies develop new markets, source or license new technologies, and access EU finance and EU funding.
The global demand for environmental technologies, ecofriendly products and services, and sustainable design ideas is increasing dramatically. The worldwide market, currently estimated at EUR 1.15 trillion a year, could almost double – to EUR 2 trillion by 2020.
ManagEnergy takes a look at the opportunities for SMEs in transitioning to sustainable energy. Much emphasis is placed on the exemplar role of the public sector – and here SMEs’ involvement is vital to achieving ambitious 2020 targets.
EU Cohesion policy aims to support economic, social and territorial cohesion across the EU. It strongly contributes to the objectives of Europe 2020—playing a significant role in supporting sustainable, social and economic restructuring across Europe. These policies add to socio-economic development and employment growth—helping the economy while protecting natural resources. European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI) formerly called Structural and Cohesion Funds support this agenda over the period 2014-2020. They comprise the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF), the Cohesion Fund (CF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
Energies Posit’If aims to increase the number of energy retrofits in the Ile-de-France region by providing comprehensive technical services (energy advice, retrofits and energy performance guarantees) and third party financing to thermally upgrade multi-unit buildings. These projects will be financed through equity, low interest debt from financial institutes and the sale of energy savings certificates—achieving a Bâtiment de basse consommation (low energy building) performance target.
ManagEnergy interviews energy agencies in Latvia and Spain on the changing role of energy agencies in Europe.
In a recent interview with ManagEnergy, Milka Hrbud of REGEA spoke about the SUSTAINCO project—funded by Intelligent Energy Europe— that aims to support the implementation of the Recast EPBD into national legislation.
Mobilising Local Energy Investment Project Development Assistance (MLEI-PDA), supported by Intelligent Energy Europe assists local and regional authorities develop sustainable energy projects. It aims to bridge the gap between sustainable energy plans and real investment by funding activities necessary to prepare, and mobilise finance for public investment programmes.
The German concept of a passive house is not suited to extremely cold climates. It is very difficult to reach the energy demand defined for Central European countries, 15 kWh/m2a, without substantially increasing the construction costs. As an alternative the project looked into the concept of very low energy houses.