November 06, 2009
Mandatory 'Green renovation' plan?
A major proposal whereby 15 million buildings across Europe would undergo 'green renovation' over the next decade, in a bid to help meet EU energy-efficiency targets, is being considered by the Commission as part of a broader plan due for release in November. Draft versions of '7 measures for 2 million new EU jobs' - a scaled-back but more tightly focused revision of the Commission's 2006 Energy-Efficiency Action Plan - extols the employment-creating potential of energy-efficiency, suggesting the green buildings initiative alone would create 1.4 million jobs (300,000 directly and 1.1 million indirectly) annually.
Under the plan, it is thought EU Member States would face binding energy-saving targets (either sector-specific or across the entire economy) in line with the objective of achieving 20% greater energy efficiency by 2020. Already a voluntary commitment to this aspiration is in place but this is looking increasingly unrealistic on current national performances. In fact, little energy savings have yet been achieved in the buildings sector which is responsible for 40% of Europe's consumption.
Specific additional EU funds are not likely to be set aside for this initiative (beyond European Investment Bank loans and, perhaps, Economic Recovery Fund money unused by 2013). Instead, National Energy Efficiency Funds would be established and revenues from emissions trading used. Nonetheless, the Commission's ambitions may well correspond with likely Irish Government plans to bring forward retrofitting schemes for residential housing and public buildings over the coming years. Other measures contained in the plan include the Smart Cities initiative (see September's Bulletin), efforts to boost the energy-efficiency of utilities, and tapping into the potential of SMEs which could equally be in line with Ireland's recent shift towards embracing the green economy.
Posted by iroronan at November 6, 2009 11:50 AM
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