With the submission of the final National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) of most Member States (MS) end 2019, many discussions question the types of support MS need to reach the EU Green Deal targets. The reality is that the EU is far from reaching energy efficiency targets in 2020, with energy consumption rising by 4% as of 2016 (following its reduction during the economic crisis period) when the targets would require 1%, meaning the 2020 energy efficiency targets could be missed by 4-6%. The same holds for 2021 – 2030 (see EUROSTAT projections), where despite some ambitious plans from MS, the current trend in energy savings is not enough and important uncertainties remain about the means committed for the coming years.
Next to why targets are likely to be missed, the question is how to come to the point where MS can design, implement, evaluate and cheer with their results. First and immediate answers could be simple: more capacity, awareness, financing, political will, as well as time to get real market transformation and trainings of future professionals. The EU provides a significant contribution in this field through funding various programmes such as Horizon 2020 and LIFE.
We, as IEECP, are glad to be participating and leading a handful of such initiatives, together with other renowned institutes, national and regional governments and their agencies. We strongly believe that time is not to be wasted. Public authorities, agencies and private stakeholders must make use of the best practices already tested around Europe.
In the energy efficiency field, the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of respective policies to address the various Articles of the Energy Efficiency Directive is an integrated process and all Member States can share their useful experiences.
There is a large variety of innovative financing tools for all governance levels where public funding is bridged with private funding, overcoming the known financing barriers and generating new markets or business models not yet considered or not largely developed, with the aim of reducing the overall costs to citizens. Energy costs are problematic for 50 million energy poor households in the EU. The solutions can again come from well-designed policies (such as the provisions of the EED Article 7), which can trigger service providers and utilities to develop business models and programmes helping the energy poor, often in partnership with local authorities or NGOs.
Energy efficiency should be at the core of policymakers’ mindset, with the Efficiency First principle determining their choices in developing energy policies, assessing on a fair basis what investments on the supply-side or the demand-side are the most cost-effective from the society’s point of view. IEECP’s role in this field is defined by its commitment to assist Member States in developing knowledge, capacity and tools in achieving the targets.
Many things will change, for the best, in 2020: you will find more publications available directly on our website, a more regular newsletter, and many project results shaped in an attractive format. Most publications are co-authored by IEECP and our partners in EU-funded projects. Because we think that collective intelligence is a way to find and disseminate better solutions faster.
The IEECP team