The Energy Collective
Posted by: Clare Taylor
Yesterday, the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) convened by the European Commission and UNEP Finance Initiative launched its final report Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy: How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments. 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. “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.”
The 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.
Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency which acted as the technical partner for the EEFIG work commented “Energy efficiency has played and continues to play a sizeable role in the development of the global economy. This is nowhere more evident than in financial markets where energy efficiency is establishing itself as an important segment. Policy makers and private markets need to work further to support this essential driver of energy efficiency investment.”
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.