12 November, Brussels – Energy efficiency financing and demand response measures will be central to the European Commission’s forthcoming energy strategy, according to a leaked ‘State of the Energy Union’ report.
Action will be taken ‘as a matter of priority’ to increase investment in energy efficiency projects. A new scheme will be set up in 2016 to ensure better access to capital for energy efficiency platforms and programmes, with a particular focus on providing finance for smaller projects. The scheme may also look to aggregate smaller projects to create better opportunities for investors.
The Commission will also put ‘special emphasis’ on stimulating demand response participation. Demand response can increase efficiency and flexibility in energy networks, but its uptake is currently hampered by a lack of awareness and incentives, the draft report explained.
In addition to the new measures, 2016 will also see the revision of existing legislation, including the Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives, in order to align them with the EU’s 2030 targets.
The 2016 priorities reflect a concern that current energy efficiency actions are coming up short. The report acknowledged that the EU is in danger of missing its own 2020 energy efficiency targets, and that investment in the area needs to quintuple by 2030.
For more information, see the leaked ‘State of the Energy Union 2015’.