(Energy Efficient and Integrated Urban Development Action)

Newsletter > Newsletter Nr. 5 > EU-Energy Policy
European UnionBaltic Sea Region
Part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument). eu.baltic.net

In addition, the project is supported by the German Federal Programm Transnational Cooperation of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. www.interreg.de

The energy efficient modernisation of the housing stock in the context of the European energy policies

The European Union has to find answers for their crucial challenges in the field of energy: Safety of energy supply, stable energy prices and climate change.

Therefore the European Council adopted the European Energy and Climate objectives ‘EU 20-20-20’ in 2007:  reducing CO2 gas emissions by 20%, reaching a share of 20% of renewable energy and to increase energy efficiency by 20% until the year 2020. This presents a core aim within the new Post Lisbon Strategy Europe 2020 which builds the framework for European policies until 2020.

The building stock accounts for around 40% of the EU’s total final energy use, of which two thirds are consumed in the residential sector. Therefore, buildings offer the largest single potential for energy efficiency.

The EU has responded to this fact with various regulations and initiatives where building infrastructures, urban and regional structures play an important role, not only within the European energy pol-icy but also within research and regional policy. Inter alia to mention are here the re-casted Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the strategy ‘Energy 2020’ and the ‘Energy Efficiency Plan 2011’.

In June 2011 the European Commission proposed a new directive on energy efficiency that brings forward measures to step up Member States efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. The public sectors should play an important role to reach the energy aims.

Tackling European energy challenges on a local level

Beside the European strategies and regulations also questions on financing, exchange of experiences and knowledge are of major importance. The most important initiatives and instruments are

-    JESSICA (e.g. revolving integrated urban development funds, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund),
-    CONCERTO (energy efficiency and use of renewable energies within the built urban context, co-financed by the framework research programmes),
-    the Covenant of the Mayors (development of strategic energy action plans in cities)
-    ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance, co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Program within the Competitiveness and innovation Program),
-    Smart Cities and Communities Initiative (for more sustainable and efficient cities rely on the organisational framework of the EU's Strategic Energy Technology (SET)-Plan within the 7th framework research program).

In the Leipzig Charta on sustainable European Cities the member states’ ministers responsible for urban development declared 2007 that energy efficiency of buildings must be improved, both existing but also new buildings. The renovation of housing stock can have an important impact on energy efficiency and the improvement of resident’s quality of life.

Discussion on the next period of structural funds

Regional spending for 2007-13 accounts for over one third of the EU budget – or some €350 billion. Depending on what is being funded, and in which country or region, the money comes from three different sources:

-    The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – general infrastructure, innovation, and investments.
-    The European Social Fund (ESF) – vocational training projects, other kinds of employment assistance, and job-creation programmes.
-    The Cohesion Fund – environmental and transport infrastructure projects and the development of renewable energy.
Against the background of the economic crisis since 2009 in all member states the European Regional Development Funds can be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in housing with an available amount of up to 4% of the total ERDF allocation.

For the period after 2013 the discussion gets more and more detailed. In summer 2011 the European Commission proposed a new financial framework for the European policies. Energy efficiency will play a crucial role and the support for energy related activities and investments will probably be rising.

On 5 October 2011the European Commission presented their proposals for the new regulations of the structural funds.
For more information click here.

European Energy Efficiency Fund EEEF launched

The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament agreed in December 2010 to allocate subventions from the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) towards a new financial facility dedicated to sustainable energy.

The fund has an initial volume of 265 million Euros, consisting of: 125 million Euros from the EEPR, 75 million Euros from the European Investment Bank, 60 million Euros from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA and 5 million Euros from the investment manager, Deutsche Bank.

The EEEF will invest in energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, particularly in urban settings, achieving at least 20% energy saving or [GHG/CO2] emission reduction.

You can find more information here.

Launch of the Smart Cities and Communities Initiative

In July 2011 the European Commission launched an Industrial Initiative on 'energy saving solutions in cities''. From 20 July until December 2011 teams of cities and industry partners can apply for EU-funding in the fields of integrative management of urban energy flows that also include transport, water and waste solutions. Further calls under the initiative address buildings, heating and cooling, networks and energy supply technologies. The indicative budget is about 40 million Euros.

For more information about the initiative click here

You can find information about the Call for proposals here.

ELENA - New program to assist local investments in sustainable energy

With the new technical assistance facility ELENA (European Local ENergy Assistance), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) facilitate the mobilisation of funds for investments in sustainable energy at local level.

Within the Intelligent Energy Europe Program the facility co-finances the technical support that is necessary to prepare, implement and finance the investment programme, such as feasibility and market studies, structuring of programmes, business plans, energy audits, preparation for tendering procedures - in short, everything necessary to make cities' and regions' sustainable energy projects ready for EIB funding.

For more information about the program and good examples click here.

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Energy Efficient and Integrated Urban Development Action
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