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.
CEN-CENELEC meeting centre (Bruxelles)
The report estimates the EU energy renovation market at EUR 109 billion in 2015 and 882,900 jobs. It shows that the size of the EU energy renovation market could increase by almost half the current energy renovation market if a 40% energy savings target is adopted for 2030. This would lead to more than one million additional jobs.
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:
I may be an engineer by training, but I’m still tolerant. So tolerant in fact, that I can go so far as to willingly enter a room full of economists. That’s precisely where I was last month, enjoying some excellent presentations by distinguished economists on the macro-economic benefits of energy efficiency.
A few months ago, a German colleague of mine from the electricity supply division of the IEA introduced me to visitors as an expert on “that hippie thing”. I don’t know about you, but until that day I had never thought of energy efficiency as something “hippie”.
We hear all the time that one of the major barriers to an efficient building stock is the up-front investment cost and that the way to overcome this barrier is to provide incentives.
I don’t know about you, but I always have a hard time reconciling with the use of incentives to deliver what I think should be business as usual: low energy buildings.
Some would have us believe that construction regulations are new. Have you ever heard of the Code of Hammurabi? It’s the very first code of laws known in history, dating back to 1750 BC. And guess what? Building codes were already included! Six out of 282 laws regulated construction safety, including penalties for builders of non-compliant homes. Quite visionary, indeed, even if some penalties could now seem slightly stringent.