The “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package confirms the pivotal role of the EU building stock in meeting EU 2030 climate and energy targets. In fact, the projected decarbonisation of the EU energy system is mainly based on the renovation of existing buildings and the increased penetration of renewable energies in heating, cooling and power generation.
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.
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.
“BRINGING THE BUILDINGS SECTOR TOGETHER TO DELIVER A RENOVATION REVOLUTION”
In April, countries around the world signed the historic Paris Agreement reached at COP 21. Europe must now raise its ambition, and one of the greatest environmental and societal challenges we collectively face is the renovation of Europe’s buildings.
Delivering the ambitious climate change targets of the Paris Agreement can only be achieved through the effective combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Together, they offer the best opportunity to quickly and cost-effectively move towards a decarbonised energy system. It is important that both are delivered through integrated policies and measures in a holistic manner.
Maison de la Culture du Japon (Paris)
I used to think that Western democracies protect their citizens from “la pensée unique” (a narrow and single way of thinking). My concerns relate to the “consensus” in the “energy efficiency community” about how the “Better Regulation Package” would impact negatively existing EU climate and energy policies.
In the traditional vision of the primary energy mix, the EU will be fuelled by 2030 first by oil and fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) will meet 60% of the EU energy demand (based on PRIMES 2013 modelling results)
In the traditional vision of the primary energy mix, the world will be fuelled by 2040 first by oil and fossil fuels will meet 60% of the global primary energy demand even if policies and measures to keep global warming below the 2 degrees are effectively implemented (data used are those of the IEA WEO 2015 modelling results)
When I was about to graduate, I had a job interview with one of the leading EU energy companies. The hiring manager was highly interested in my profile, but struggled on how an energy efficiency engineer could help his company increase profits. I realise now how audacious it was to imagine that a company who’s business was selling Megawatt would hire someone trained to sell Negawatts. Few years later I was totally demoralized: I had a climate-change denier as a line manager. Each report submitted for approval was scrutinized for the blasphemous words: “climate change”.