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Energy Efficiency is the Best Option for European Energy Independence!

Energy Efficiency is the Best Option for European Energy Independence!

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!
The failure of Russian President Putin to effectively punish his illegal invasion of Ukraine brutally illustrates Europe’s huge reliance on fossil fuel imports. The phase-out of fossil fuels is no longer “only” about combating the climate problem, which has terrible ramifications for all living things on the planet.

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Renewable Energy and Efficiency

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

The recent year’s fossil price crisis demonstrated that transitioning to renewable energy is also required for Europe’s energy sovereignty and price stability. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbates the acknowledged weaknesses of reliance, highlighting geopolitical instability and presenting a severe danger to security and peace.

Europe’s energy policy is changing overnight as it strives to become more autonomous and adaptable. Some have already raised the potential of calling the European Green Deal and the clean energy transition into question by seeking obsolete alternatives such as further fossil investments or even the restart of nuclear power. However, simply eliminating Russian fossil fuels will not address the situation. Dependence on fossil and nuclear resources is typically associated with authoritarian or unstable nations, as well as susceptibility to variable pricing. Europe must reduce its reliance on these imports as soon as possible and reclaim its energy sovereignty.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

It is critical for the  European Union to avoid making hasty judgments that will not serve our ultimate purpose. Europe can only attain energy sovereignty by significantly increasing Energy efficiency and growing renewable energy sources. Increasing Energy efficiency by 1% decreases gas imports by 2.6 percent. If these savings are used to Russian imports, each percentage point of efficiency increase translates into 4 percent less Russian gas and 5.5 percent fewer Russian oil imports, all of which contribute to Ukraine’s death and devastation.

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The reform of the Energy Efficiency Directive is part of the European Green Deal and is critical to meeting the European Climate Law’s aim of a 55 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The lowering of certificates in the Emission Trading System, as well as the phenomenal increase of renewable energies, are both important yet insufficient. Energy efficiency must be addressed in all industries and throughout all member countries. Non-consumed energy does not need to be created, delivered, transformed, or paid for.

With its proposal for a new Energy Efficiency Directive, the  European Commission has already made steps in the right direction, establishing a new EU energy savings target of a 39% reduction in primary energy consumption and a 36% reduction in final energy consumption compared to 1990. The Commission suggests increasing yearly energy-saving commitments from 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent to accomplish this. Regrettably, the Commission declined to establish binding goals for each member country. Instead, they suggest that each country set an indicative goal, with the remaining gap borne by all members.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Unsurprisingly, this would result in a race to the bottom, since it would be in the best interests of every member state to publish the lowest feasible objective. Significant adjustments to the Commission’s strategy are required to satisfy the EU’s climate aspirations. I am attempting to widen the scope and aims of the new Energy Efficiency Directive on behalf of the Greens/EFA group.

The public sector must set a good example. Particular attention must be paid to energy use in public buildings. The Commission strives for a three percent yearly restoration rate of all public buildings, not just at the federal level, but also in municipalities, administrative buildings, kindergartens, and social housing. Some member nations are particularly concerned about the latter. Buildings alone account for 35% of total energy usage in Germany.

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Building stock restoration and stringent standards would therefore help not only preserve energy but also to alleviate pricing difficulties and reduce dependency on energy imports. The burden of low-income households’ energy and heating expenses is decreased when social housing is addressed, shielding the most vulnerable from price fluctuation.

Transportation contributes to 30% of Europe’s final energy consumption while having an unusually low final-to-primary energy consumption ratio. Governments must support cycling, walking, and group travel to reduce energy waste in transportation. Individual mobility should be centered on increasingly fuel-efficient cars, especially tiny battery-powered vehicles. New urban design ideas can help to lower the demand for inefficient modes of transportation.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

A decentralised energy transition, an efficiency offensive, and a “renovation tsunami” for energy-efficient buildings have enormous promise for the European labour market. New employment, particularly in rural regions, can be produced in renewable energy, construction, transportation, and the digital economy. While digitalization will minimise the environmental impact of some industries, IT gear and data centres are responsible for the world’s fastest rising waste stream.

Furthermore, the digital industry accounts for around 3.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions. With this in mind, it is a positive step that the  European Commission addresses data centres explicitly in the Efficiency Directive for the first time. However, focusing just on extremely large facilities and their utilisation of waste heat is inadequate. The objective should instead be to decrease waste heat in the first place.

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The continuous reliance on fossil gas is a fundamental issue in the Commission’s plan, as efficiency initiatives utilising fossil gas may contribute toward a member state’s energy savings objective. Not only does fossil gas have no place in a climate-neutral economy, but the Commission’s approach utterly disregards the severely climate-damaging methane emissions involved with fossil gas production, transportation, and distribution. Investments in Energy efficiency must never include investments in fossil fuels.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

It is consequently critical that investments go solely towards future-proof solutions based on electrification and renewable energies.

The new Energy Efficiency Directive will serve as our intermediate and long-term guideline for a more energy-efficient Europe. However, both climate and sovereignty necessitate immediate responses to the crises we confront. 

Renovations and new technologies take time, and we do not need to quit relying on them right once. As a result, additional regulations and campaigns are necessary to encourage people to adopt tiny but beneficial behavioral changes. Lowering a room’s temperature by one degree Celsius saves 6% of the energy required. Normally, driving less or slower takes a bit longer. We must step outside of our comfort zone if we genuinely want to stand with Ukraine.

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Energy Efficiency is the Best Option for European Energy Independence!

Energy Efficiency is the Best Option for European Energy Independence! Milao Haath

Renewable Energy Directive

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

Directive 2009/28/EC, revised in 2018, has been proposed for a further revision to align it with the EU’s increased climate ambition.

The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) was amended in 2018. The Commission recommended another change in 2021 to better match it with growing climate aspirations. The regulation establishes a single objective for the quantity of renewable energy in the EU’s energy consumption by 2030, which is presently set at 32%. The suggested modification and the  REPowerEU plan, both released in May 2022, indicate further evolution of the objective to accelerate renewable adoption in the EU.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

The directive defines uniform principles and standards for removing barriers, stimulating investments, and driving cost reductions in renewable energy technology, as well as empowering communities, consumers, and enterprises to engage in the clean energy transition.

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Renewable Energy Targets

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

EU wants to accelerate the take-up of renewables to contribute and reach the goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

More than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the energy industry. Increasing the percentage of renewable energy in all sectors of the economy is thus a critical building element in achieving the EU’s energy and climate goals.

reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% (relative to 1990) by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

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Revision of the Directive

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

The directive’s ambition and means have been modified multiple times to reach the urgent emission reduction (at least 55% by 2030) necessary to meet the EU’s higher climate aspirations. As part of the package to deliver on the European Green Deal, the Commission recommended a modification of the regulation (COM/2021/557 final) in July 2021, with an enhanced 40% objective. In its Communication on the  REPowerEU plan (COM/2022/230 final) in May 2022, the Commission suggested raising this aim to 45% by 2030.

The revision of the directive also introduces new measures to supplement the already existing building blocks established by the 2009 and 2018 directives to ensure that all potentials for renewable energy development are optimally exploited, which is a necessary condition for the EU to achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050. These include significantly intensified steps to encourage the use of renewables in transportation, heating, and cooling, as well as efforts to convert some of the concepts contained in the energy system integration and hydrogen policies, both of which were announced in 2020. These ideas attempt to create an energy-efficient and circular energy system based on renewable energy that supports the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen, in sectors where electrification is not yet a feasible option, such as transport.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

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The 2030 Targets for European Energy

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

The recast Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EU created a new binding renewable energy objective for the EU for 2030 of at least 32%, with a clause enabling a potential higher amendment by 2023, building on the 20% target for 2020.

Further adjustments to the regulation are required to fulfill the greater climate ambitions outlined in the European Green Deal in December 2019.

On 14 July 2021, the Commission unveiled Europe’s proposed 2030 climate objectives, including a proposal to alter the Renewable Energy Directive. It aims to raise the present objective of 40% renewable energy sources in the EU’s overall energy mix by 2030.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

The Commission issued the  REPowerEU plan on May 18, 2022, outlining a series of actions to significantly reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian fossil resources long before 2030 by speeding the renewable energy transition. The  REPowerEU strategy is built on three pillars: energy savings, renewable energy production, and diversifying the EU’s energy suppliers. As part of its efforts to promote the use of renewable energy in power production, industries, buildings, and transportation, the Commission recommends raising the directive’s aim to 45% by 2030.

The 2030 Targets for European Energy

The 2030 Targets for European Energy

This will increase overall renewable energy generating capacity to 1236 GW by 2030, up from 1067 GW under the 2021 plan. To further promote renewables adoption, the Commission recently issued a Recommendation to expedite permit-granting procedures for renewable projects and to simplify power purchase agreements.

The Commission’s proposal has now been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council.

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Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Cooperation Mechanisms

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

Cooperation mechanisms enable EU members to reach an agreement on a framework for collectively supporting renewable energy generation and incorporating it into national objectives.

While all EU nations have domestic renewable energy resources to tap into, some regions of Europe have a higher potential for renewables than others. Some nations, for example, may have more rivers appropriate for hydroelectric electricity, whilst others may have more annual sunshine suited for solar.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

The establishment of Europe’s internal energy market opens up new options for countries to collaborate in order to develop renewable resources and satisfy national renewable energy objectives. They can do so using the Renewable Energy Directive‘s three cooperation mechanisms: statistical transfers, cooperative initiatives between EU nations or EU countries and third countries, and joint support programmes.

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Statistical Transfers

Energy efficiency is the best option for European energy independence!

A statistical transfer subtracts renewable energy from one country’s objective progress and adds it to another’s. Because there is no genuine energy exchange, this is only an accounting procedure.

This cooperation mechanism allowing such transfers provides EU countries with an additional incentive to exceed their obligations because they may be rewarded for energy transferred to others. It also makes it possible for countries with less cost-effective renewable energy sources to satisfy their goals more economically.

In November 2021, the Commission will launch the Union renewables development platform to facilitate statistical transfers of renewable energy among EU states. It offers vital information to national EU administrations and acts as a tool to help states choose suitable partners and agree on the parameters of a statistics transfer. The platform can help EU member states increase their statistical share of renewable energy to meet both the national 2020 target and the planned contribution to the 2030 ambition.

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Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Climate disasters and increasing fuel prices, he added, have highlighted the need to “stop our global addiction to fossil fuels,” emphasising the necessity of investing in renewables, developing resilience, and scaling up adaptation.

Without renewables, there can be no future – UN chief

“We would not be in the middle of a climate emergency now if we had invested heavily in renewable energy in the past.”

Renewables are the “only feasible road” to actual energy security, stable electricity prices, and long-term job prospects, according to the UN Secretary-General.

He also emphasised that the proportion of renewable energy in global power generation must rise from 30% today to more than 60% in 2030 and 90% in 2050.

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“Business and government leaders must stop viewing renewables as a distant future endeavor,” the senior UN official said.

“There is no future without renewables.”

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

Priorities for Energy

The Secretary-General then outlined his Five-Point Energy Plan to transition to renewables, beginning with the technology being treated as freely available “global public goods.”

“Identifying patents that may be made publicly available, particularly those about battery and storage capacity,” he added, “is critical for a speedy and equitable energy transition.”

Following that, he emphasised the importance of securing, expanding, and diversifying supply chains for renewable energy technologies, noting that supply networks for components and raw materials are “still concentrated in several nations.”

The third objective was to equalise the playing field for renewables.

“We have the technology, ability, and funding,” said the UN Secretary-General, “but we urgently need to put in place policies and frameworks to stimulate investments and reduce bottlenecks created by red tape, permits, and grid connections.”

His fourth argument was to shift subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy, noting that governments spend around half a trillion dollars each year to artificially decrease the price of fossil fuels – “more than treble what renewables receive.”

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO – Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

“By directing these resources and incentives toward renewables, we not only reduce emissions, but we also generate more good and green employment,” he added.

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Putting Money Into the Future

In his fifth and last argument, Mr. Guterres emphasised the importance of expanding public and private investments in renewables to at least $4 trillion per year.

“In the case of solar and wind power, upfront expenditures account for 80% of lifetime costs, suggesting that significant investments now will pay even bigger dividends tomorrow,” he noted.

However demands the following: funds going to those in most need; updated risk criteria and greater flexibility to scale up renewable finance; and lower financing costs for developing countries.

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“The cost of funding for renewable energy projects in the poor world might be seven times higher than in the developed world,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, noting that Africa receives just 2% of clean energy investments despite its tremendous renewable energy potential.

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

Walking the talk

According to Mr. Guterres, a just transition to a renewable energy future is everyone’s business, including the commercial sector, which should work with labour groups and civil society to push science-based objectives and Just Transition plans.

“Lip service will not suffice. “We require credible initiatives and accountability,” he said.

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Every company and investor, every city and nation must “walk the walk” on their net-zero pledges to implement the Paris Agreement and save the Sustainable Development Goals, according to the UN Secretary-General.

“The United Nations Global Compact is positioned to assist in this crucial endeavour,” he stated, asking everyone to “accelerate action across industries and regions to spark the renewables revolution.”

Waseem Shahid Malik CEO - Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK.

Waseem Shahid Malik

CEO 

Eco Energy Rating Ltd. UK

Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
M22 5TG, Manchester, United Kingdom.

info@ecoenergyrating.com

+44 (0) 161 266 1026

WhatsApp:- +44 7533 381698

Eco Energy Rating Ltd.

Eco Energy Rating Ltd.

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