NEWS SOUTH EAST EUROPE ENERGY REPORT: THE EU ROAD OR THE ROAD TO NOWHERE?
Energy efficiency and clean energy can drive for new job opportunities,
shows new Southeast Europe energy roadmap
(Brussels, June 15 2016) By investing more in energy efficiency in buildings and switching to efficient technologies, the countries of South East Europe (SEE) could produce new job opportunities, as well as reduce energy losses and consumption. These are the findings of a new energy roadmap for 2050  developed for 7 countries of SEE , and launched today at a policy session  organised by SEE Change Net and co-hosted by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, as a part of EU Sustainable Energy Week 2016 .
Even though buildings consume almost 50% of all energy spent in SEE, €500 million of funds available for energy efficiency projects remain unused . At the same time, Chinese state banks remain the biggest investor in dirty lignite, with €5.6 billion of planned investments in the SEE region . New coal plants would increase the health costs caused by the existing plants in SEE countries , which amount up to 8.5 EUR billion annually, causing 7181 premature deaths per year in Europe .
Dirk Buschle of Energy Community reported, that “our recent report showed that in 2015 available funds of 500 Million Euros were not being drawn down which sent a worrying signal from the region”.
Despite the obvious opportunities for new jobs, as well as available funds, the potentials of energy efficiency remain unused. Nigel Jolland’s of EBRD states, that “the main challenges to ramp up this sector from IFIs perspective is low prices, high transaction cost and lack of political will”.
However, non-EU countries lack defined financial mechanisms that support energy efficiency, said Tihomir Civkaroski, Knauf Insulation general manager for Balkan countries, Cyprus and Malta. “We are also missing governmental dedication, especially having in mind the direct impact of energy efficiency on GDP and job increase”, said Civkaroski, and added that advancing energy efficiency in Serbia would create 15 000 to 30 000 more jobs in this sector .
“The Road Map clearly shows that nearly-zero energy buildings and retrofits would reduce by almost 50% the final energy demand for heating and cooling in buildings compared to today’s
level. This also presents a big opportunity for creating sustainable local jobs – twice as many than in the energy generation sector”, said Daniel Kammen, director of UC Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). “As the Roadmap shows, the development of a clean energy infrastructure in SEE is a political choice, not a technical obstacle.”
 Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia
 Energy Community Secretariat, Energy Community – Tapping on its Energy Efficiency Potential, 1 June 2015. Available at https://www.energy-community.org/portal/page/portal/ENC_HOME/DOCS/3750146/18B2AB6BA84663F2E053C92FA8C064DA.PDF
 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
 “The unpaid health bill, how coal power plants in Western Balkans make us sick” (http://bit.ly/1QMCYId), Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), 2016
 As presented by Ph.D. Mihajlo Babin of FEFA (Faculty of economics, finance and administration, Belgrade) in December 2015, during round table in Serbian Parliament “Potential benefits from energy efficiency improvements in Serbia.”