MEPs Vote for an Energy Efficient Future
EU energy and climate policy has been strengthened after MEPs voted to increase efficiency and renewable energy targets.
The European Parliament’s industry and energy committee (ITRE) met to consider two directives that come under the umbrella of the European Commissions’ Clean Energy For All Europeans proposals, which were first submitted last year.
MEPs adopted a 40% efficiency target, with individual targets for national governments to hit by 2030. This vote is expected to boost the entire energy efficiency industry throughout member nations.
Energy efficiency is set to become big business as inefficient, ageing, buildings will need to be retrofitted with efficiency measures and modern heating and lighting systems if the targets are to be met.
This in turn leads to the question of who pays for what can be an expensive operation. While the provision of incentives through government grants can help take-up of energy efficiency measures, the private sector has already started to enter the market – particularly for larger commercial, sports, educational and religious buildings.
Driving this expansion of the industry has been the prospect of cost savings – but the capital needed has been a brake on the sector.
However, imaginative thinking has seen start-up companies provide a solution. In return for their expertise in energy management and capital for efficiency measures such as insulation, low-energy lighting and state-of-the-art heating/cooling systems they make a return by sharing the cost savings with the end clients.
OPEN is setting up a joint venture with Italian energy efficiency company, Zeus, for inclusion in the OPEN Cleantech Equity Fund portfolio. Aiming at typically high energy users, such as religious buildings and institutions, hotels and resorts, car dealerships and care/nursing homes, the company expects energy consumption to be reduced by 30-50% for these sectors.