Brussels, Belgium, 26 February 2015
Today, the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) co-convened by the European Commission and UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched its final report “Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy: How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments”.
The EEFIG report identifies the critical success factors, policies, market instruments and financing solutions to increase energy efficiency investments in Europe in the buildings, industry and SME sectors. The international landmark study is the result of 16 months of work of more than 120 active participants representing finance, policy makers, the buildings sector, industry, SMEs and energy efficiency market participants.
European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the launch of the report with the following words: "Investing into energy efficiency measures in buildings, industry and in SMEs is fundamentally important for Europe. I will strive to ensure that energy efficiency investment financing is looked at in our forthcoming policies and that this Report will be used as inspiration for our further work."
Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner underlines that: "Scaling up energy efficiency investment has become an economic imperative with a strong social, environmental and competitive rationale. And while European industry remains a global leader in energy efficiency, investment flows in the sector remain sub-optimal. Only half of the estimated 60 -100 billion Euros annual investment required to achieve Europe's 2020 energy efficiency targets in buildings is being met. The joint efforts by the EU and UNEP's FI to build a healthy dialogue among stakeholders and disseminate know-how has the potential to unleash private investment to the scale required to meet future ambitions and obligations."
EEFIG’s report states that energy efficiency investment is the most cost effective manner to reduce the EU’s reliance, and expenditure, on energy imports costing over €400 billion a year. Today, this makes energy efficiency investments strategically important due to high levels of energy imports, energy price instability and the need for Europe to transition to a competitive low carbon and resilient economy. EEFIG’s members see energy efficiency investing as having a fundamental and beneficial role to play in the transition towards a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system with an internal energy market at its core.
EEFIG participants believe that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) should put energy efficiency first and that it is essential in the context of the Energy Union to reframe the role that energy efficiency plays in how Europe plans for, finances, and constructs its energy system.
Member States have a clear role to play in pursuing the necessary structural reforms, exercise fiscal responsibility, provide regulatory certainty and boost investment in support of jobs and growth. In this context, energy efficiency is the first fuel because it is competitive, cost effective to produce; it is widely available and delivers multiple benefits to project hosts and national economies. For these reasons, EEFIG considers that the Investment Plan should include a clear focus on improving the energy productivity of Europe as a key driver of growth. In doing this, Europe can unlock the multiple benefits of energy efficiency investments including energy security, competitiveness, social and territorial cohesion, job creation, well-being and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Download the full report here: “Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy: How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments”
Download here the Executive Summary.
Download here the slides.
The report is presented at the conference Heating and Cooling in the European Energy Transition