Page 8 - European Energy Innovation magazine - autumn 2022 edition
P. 8

Autumn 2022 European Energy Innovation
               8     ENERGY EFFICIENCY

             Finally energy

            effi ciency gets

            the credit it deserves

            By Morten Helveg Petersen (pictured), Renew Europe,
            Vice-chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

                    s the saying goes, the   increased energy effi ciency ambitions
                    greenest energy is the   we will simply not achieve our climate
                    energy we do not use.    targets in 2030, or 2050 for that matter.
            AYet, energy effi ciency has
            always been the neglected stepchild   A look at the numbers reveals the
            of energy policy. While a 300 feet   potential. Taking starting point
            windmill makes up a great photo   in Europe’s buildings, which are
            opportunity to demonstrate the   currently being targeted through the
            progress of the climate agenda,   European Performance of Building
            isolation materials and thermostats   Directive, a fi le I am active on, 40
            fades in comparison.             percent of EU energy consumption
                                             stems from buildings. At the same
            Likewise, energy effi ciency has never   time, 75 percent have poor energy
            been a topic capable of setting   performance. Heat, or cold for that
            constituency meetings on fi re, rather   matter, simply slips away through
            the exercise would be to avoid the   leaks in our buildings. It goes without
            audience drifting off. In short, energy   saying that is waste we cannot afford.
            effi ciency has simply not been politically
            sexy. That is until now, of course.  According to the Commission’s fi t for
                                             55 package, the target is to increase
            When increasing EU energy effi ciency   energy effi ciency in buildings by 36
            by 1 percent corresponds to 2,6   percent compared to 2007 levels.
            percent less dependency on Russian   This does not only constitute a direct
            gas imports, Brussels is listening. As   gain from energy savings. Reduced
            Putin brutally invaded Ukraine, he also   energy consumption in our buildings
            catapulted energy effi ciency onto the   also requires less use of electricity,
            top-shelf European security policy.  and consequently energy waste is
                                             reduced there as well.
            Energy effi ciency’s new status as
            politically sexy was prominently   Energy effi ciency is the perfect
            featured in the European Parliament’s   complement to the establishing of
            adoption of the Energy Effi ciency   renewables. Energy savings from,
            Directive earlier this month with   say, green renovation, is energy
            its staggering 40 percent energy   saved years on end. Thus, energy
            effi ciency target. While the European   effi ciency makes the green transition
            Parliament surely is the institution to   easier, less extensive and cheaper.
            set the bar of EU climate policy high,   We will need less wind- and solar
            this would have been unheard of in   parks, which also reduces the
            the beginning of the year.       demand for land use. This aspect
                                             is often overlooked, but can be of
            The sad circumstances aside, it is   high importance in countries where
            extremely important that energy   land is scarce, and protests over
            effi ciency has fi nally been brought   the establishing of renewables are
            to the centre of the stage. Without   frequent. Public support of the green

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