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The Clean Energy for All Europeans package projects buildings to play a pivotal role in the EU energy transition. The Commission sees the non-legislative initiative “Smart Finance for Smart Buildings (SFSB) as a major driver in the transformation of the emerging energy renovation market from a market of shallow renovation financed by grants towards a self-sustained market delivering zero energy buildings.
Could this be a wishful thinking?
I am not sure if this is good news – or scary news! Here we have two Directives related to buildings under revision in the EU, and their messages are confusing at best. Let's take a closer look at them.
The impact assessment, accompanying the proposal amending the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) -included in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package- projects the building sector to lead the transition of energy demand in Europe.
The above-mentioned impact assessment includes six scenarios:
Russia’s warning of a looming gas crisis in Europe challenges the claimed ambition of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package. In fact, the Commission’s proposal, released on November 30th, falls short in securing Europe’s energy future with energy savings and renewables -the only two clean energy sources available in Europe and at an affordable price.
The 1st industrial revolution was fuelled with coal, the 2nd with mainly oil, gas and to some extent nuclear energy while the 3rd one experienced a shy introduction of renewables in the energy mix. The 4th industrial revolution might well be fuelled first with energy savings if countries from all over the world implement the Paris Climate Agreement.
Ahead of the annual review of Ecodesign and Labelling measures by the college of Commissioners, the executive was asked by political leaders and NGOs to unfreeze the Ecodesign and Labelling process, stalled for over a year, and to expand the scope of regulated products.
It was impossible to imagine a year ago. It’s hard to believe today, but the world might well move on the post-Paris Climate Agreement without Europe!
For once, the European Commission cannot be blamed for this “ridiculous” situation as President Juncker described the slow ratification by the EU of the climate deal. It could even be the opposite: we may well have to applaud the European Commission if its proposed fast-track ratification succeeds in giving EU leaders a seat at the table of the post-Paris climate decisions.
I can’t speak for you, but in my case, the Brexit had for me the opposite effect of the fall of the Berlin wall. I was in high school in 1989, but it was clear to me that the reunification of Germany would lead to a more peaceful and prosperous Europe. In the case of the Brexit, it’s difficult to see what positive outcomes might unfold, especially given that the Brexit implications didn’t seem to have been thought out by its own leaders.
On my way back to Paris, I had to go through one of the most heavily guarded airports in the world. Unfortunately for last Thursday’s passengers, the scanner wasn’t very cooperative, and we ended up going through it again and again – without any shoes, belt, jackets or any potentially harmful garment of the sort of course. Once partially cleared by the defective scanner, we were all offered a complimentary and thorough body search before finally boarding our flight.
In these dark and uncertain economic times, we Europeans hang on to the tiniest sliver of hope. So when a silver lining appears on the energy efficiency front, let’s rejoice: