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  • 22 September 2015 (In the Press)


    Feedback from industry groups on the development of an EU heating and cooling strategy has highlighted sharp differences in opinion on how to balance energy supply and savings. 

    Replacement of existing heating systems offers "clearly better" opportunities to cut emissions from heating than relying on insulation improvements, said biomass industry lobby Aebiom. 

    Improvements to buildings have significantly longer reinvestment periods than heating equipment, it said. 

    But insulation manufacturers' lobby Eurima said that tapping energy saving opportunities in buildings before tackling heat supply would bring "the largest societal benefits and avoid lock-in effects". 

    Focusing on energy savings avoids the development of an "oversized heating and cooling distribution system", Eurima said, adding that much energy used for heating and cooling is compensating for losses from poorly performing buildings. It called for a comprehensive policy framework for renovation. 

    The associations made their comments in response to working papers released by the European Commission intended to form the basis for a new heating and cooling strategy to be published by the end of the year. The Commission requested feedback on how to find the "cost-optimal" balance between various options to decarbonise the sector.  

    Power industry association Eurelectric argued that low-carbon electricity needs to be part of the least-cost approach to decarbonising heating. It criticised the Commission for overlooking low-carbon technologies such as nuclear and carbon capture and storage in favour of renewables.  

    It also found the emphasis on district heating problematic. While the technology will "certainly be part of the solution", the large-scale infrastructure investment will lock the EU into the chosen technology path for decades, it said.  

    By contrast, district heating and cooling association Euroheat&Power argued that thermal storage is "more cost-effective than the storage of electricity, and large-scale projects deliver significant cost reductions compared to solutions at the level of a single building".  

    Combined heat and power (CHP) lobby Cogen Europe argued that optimal solutions will depend on local conditions, including whether infrastructure such as district heating networks are available.  

    Pushing for an electrification of the heating and cooling sector above certain levels depending on local conditions will "lead to substantially higher costs for society", Cogen argued. It called for EU building policies to include low-carbon heat supplies such as micro CHP in addition to renewables. 


  • 14 April 2015 (In the Press)

    MEPs back ringfencing Juncker Plan money by a single vote

    By a single vote, MEPs today (14 April) passed an amendment ringfencing up to €5 billion of Juncker Plan money for energy efficiency projects.  Click here to read the full article

  • 25 February 2015 (In the Press)

    Energy union strategy – the reaction

    Politicians, stakeholders and environmentalists responded to today's energy union strategy positively but with a degree of scepticism about its real impact. Read the full analysis in the EV online

  • 09 February 2015 (In the Press)

    Tweet of the day: @MAC_europa #energyeffiency first! - Energy consumption in the EU down to its early 1990s level #energyunion

    first! - Energy consumption in the EU down to its early 1990s level

  • 21 October 2014 (In the Press)

    Building renovation: the key for energy security, growth and jobs

    On 23 October, EU heads of state and government will be facing a key moment in their duty to bring economic progress and social well-being to EU citizens when they attend the European Council to decide on the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework, write Pascal Eveillard and Jan te Bos. Click here to read

  • 09 September 2014 (In the Press)

    Energy efficiency: a key tool for boosting economic and social development

    New IEA report shows the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and calls on governments to invest more resources to harness them.  Click here for more information

  • 23 July 2014 (In the Press)

    Dispute over 'bonkers' EU energy savings plan

    EU commissioners are meeting today to agree an energy savings target for 2030 amid serious disagreement about how ambitious it should be.  Read the full article

  • 26 June 2014 (In the Press)

    Think Tank: Europe needs a building renovations directive

    Europe’s struggling bid to rein back energy wastage in the building sector could be boosted by a renovations directive implemented under a new Directorate-General for Resource Efficiency, says the sustainable energy think tank E3G. Read the full article

  • 23 June 2014 (In the Press)

    EU paper pencils in 30% or 35% efficiency target for 2030

    To maintain Europe’s emissions-cutting momentum, a 30% cut in energy usage is needed by 2030, rising to 35% if the EU wants to reap the benefits of energy security, jobs and growth, says a draft communication for the bloc’s energy efficiency review, seen by EurActiv. Read the full article

  • 29 March 2014 (In the Press)

    EU-Klimapolitik: Oettinger will Europäer zum Energiesparen zwingen

    EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in an interview given to the Spiegel Online, calls for a binding target for energy efficiency post 2020 in light of the EU’s high energy import dependency and expressed his optimism that “we can make it”.  Full interview in German.

  • 18 February 2014 (In the Press)

    A thousand cities back 2030 energy efficiency target

    An alliance representing more than a thousand European cities wrote to Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, yesterday (17 February) calling for binding 2030 targets of 40% for energy efficiency, and 30% for renewable energy, in line with a European Parliament proposal. Read the full article.

  • 06 February 2014 (In the Press)

    Parliament backs strong EU stance on 2030 clean energy goals

    The European Parliament sent a “strong message” yesterday (5 February) in favour of an ambitious EU energy and climate policy for 2030, backing legally-binding goals for CO2 emissions, renewables and energy efficiency.Read the full article

  • 03 February 2014 (In the Press)

    Buildings efficiency ‘absolutely central’ to 2030 climate package

    Unlocking the energy saving potential of the continent’s ageing building stock will be “absolutely central” to a key review of EU policy this summer, the EU’s top energy efficiency official has said. Read the full article here

  • 16 January 2014 (In the Press)

    'Low carbon leakage' begins as EU prepares to junk efficiency goal

    Fears of a relocation of Europe's clean energy industry abroad - low carbon leakage - have been fanned with news of a factory closure by a German insulation company that has a billion-dollar annual turnover.

    In a letter to the EU Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, seen by EurActiv, Tony Robson, the CEO of Knauf Insulation blamed a slackening of Europe’s commitment to energy efficiency goals for his firm’s decision. Read the full article

  • 10 January 2014 (In the Press)

    Parliament, Commission set for clash over 2030 clean energy goals

    The European Parliament yesterday (9 January) voted for three binding energy and climate targets in 2030, audaciously backing a 40% energy savings improvement, but EurActiv understands that a meeting of nine EU commissioners this morning is set to endorse a far weaker text. Read the full article