Page 17 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation      17

                                                     ENERGY EFFICIENCY

to stimulate cost-effective investments     various EU funding instruments, there       I am excited by the new EFSI-backed
in energy efficiency.                       remains a lack of attractive options        EIB funding for an Energy Efficiency
                                            for energy efficiency financing.            project in France. Under this project,
In the coming months, I will be             There is simply a lack of availability      €400 million will be made available
focusing much of my own efforts             of finance for such investments, and        to trigger the needed investment
in Parliament on the proposal for a         this can be attributed mainly to the        for energy efficiency renovations for
new Effort Sharing Regulation for the       longer payback period and a higher          private homes in France on a large
period 2021 - 2030, which deals with        perceived risk associated with energy       scale.
emissions in the non-ETS sector. This       efficiency investments. This essentially
is a crucial piece of legislation in terms  makes such undertakings seem not            Regions in France will set up
of meeting our 40% GHG reduction            worthwhile to your typical homeowner.       specialised companies to provide
target by 2030 which we pledged in                                                      assistance and packaged solutions
Paris last year at COP21.                   Something that can really help this         to homeowners for the retrofitting of
                                            issue, and we are seeing examples of        their homes, and it is reported that up
There is no getting around this - the       it pop up around Europe now, is the         to 40,000 flats and houses will be able
40% target is one that we cannot afford     idea of an on-bill repayment scheme.        to benefit. I truly hope this initiative
to miss. In the non-ETS sector we are       In this system, a customer would be         is a resounding success as I think it
looking for a 30% reduction by 2030         able to have the energy efficiency          could provide the blueprint for similar
compared to 2005 levels, but current        work undertaken on their home, often        projects across Europe.
policies would see a reduction of           without an upfront cost, while the
just 24%. For this reason is absolutely     payment is made over time through           This is a great example of what EFSI
crucial that we set the required            the utility bill.                           has the potential to do if we use it
high level of ambition, and energy                                                      effectively. I think this model, the
efficiency has a key role to play in this.  These are schemes that I think need to      grouping together of smaller schemes
                                            be made more available and we need          for funding under EFSI, has the
Big improvements are needed in              to better promote them. In Ireland, for     potential to really drive the renovation
Europe’s buildings, 75% of which are        example, a recent study showed that         of buildings in the EU which will
currently considered to be inefficient.     almost half of Irish consumers would        greatly assist us both in terms of
Buildings account for 40% of final          consider taking out a loan to pay for       reducing emissions, and lowering
energy consumption in Europe and            energy efficiency improvements. This        energy costs for end-users. I hope to
an enormous amount of this is wasted        pay-as-you-save idea could be a game        see something similar in Ireland in the
due to buildings not performing             changer for stimulating investment in       not too distant future.
efficiently. Our legislative work in the    energy efficiency projects and I think
coming months needs to ensure that          we need to support and enable it as         I think it is clear that Energy Efficiency
we set the right framework to make          much as possible.                           has a vital role to play reducing energy
investment into Energy Efficiency                                                       demand in Europe and hence help us
projects happen, and I look forward to      In terms of mobilising finance, since       to meet our targets. As I prepare, at the
the challenge ahead.                        it was announced in November 2014,          time of writing, to depart for Marrakesh
                                            I’ve been extremely interested in           where I will represent the European
Part of the challenge is finance. We        how the European Fund for Strategic         Parliament at COP22, there is no better
have a problem in Europe in that            Investments (EFSI) could be used            time than now to highlight this crucial
investments that should be economical       for energy efficiency investments,          topic and the important role it has in
are not being made. Despite the             particularly in buildings. For this reason  the fight against Climate Change. l
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