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 [1] devel­oped for 7 coun­tries of SEE [2], and launched today at a pol­icy ses­sion [3] 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 [4].

Even though build­ings con­sume almost 50% of all energy spent in SEE, €500 mil­lion of funds avail­able for energy effi­ciency projects remain unused [5]. 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 [6]. New coal plants would increase the health costs caused by the exist­ing plants in SEE coun­tries [7], which amount up to 8.5 EUR bil­lion annu­ally, caus­ing 7181 pre­ma­ture deaths per year in Europe [8].

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”[1].

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”.[2]

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 [9].

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.”

Infor­ma­tional notes:

[1] https://​rael​.berke​ley​.edu/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​/​s​u​s​t​a​i​n​a​b​l​e​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​f​o​r​-​k​o​s​o​v​o​-​a​n​d​-​s​o​u​t​h​e​a​s​t​-​e​u​r​o​pe/

[2] Alba­nia, Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina, Croa­tia, Kosovo, Mace­do­nia, Mon­tene­gro, Serbia

[3] http://​eusew​.eu/​s​o​u​t​h​-​e​a​s​t​-​e​u​r​o​p​e​-​b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s​-​a​n​d​-​j​o​b​-​o​p​p​o​r​t​u​n​i​t​i​e​s​-​e​u​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​g​o​als

[4] http://​www​.eusew​.eu

[5] Energy Com­mu­nity Sec­re­tariat, Energy Com­mu­nity – Tap­ping on its Energy Effi­ciency Poten­tial, 1 June 2015. Avail­able at https://​www​.energy​-com​mu​nity​.org/​p​o​r​t​a​l​/​p​a​g​e​/​p​o​r​t​a​l​/​E​N​C​_​H​O​M​E​/​D​O​C​S​/​3​7​5​0​1​4​6​/​1​8​B​2​A​B​6​B​A​8​4​6​6​3​F​2​E​0​5​3​C​9​2​F​A​8​C​0​6​4​D​A​.​PDF

[6] http://​seechangenet​work​.org/​c​h​i​n​e​s​e​-​i​n​v​e​s​t​m​e​n​t​s​-​i​n​-​t​h​e​-​r​e​g​i​o​n​-​s​h​o​u​l​d​-​s​h​i​f​t​-​f​r​o​m​-​c​o​a​l​-​t​o​-​r​e​n​e​w​a​b​l​e​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​a​n​d​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​e​f​f​i​c​i​e​n​cy/

[7] Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina, Kosovo, Mace­do­nia, Mon­tene­gro and Serbia.

[8] “The unpaid health bill, how coal power plants in West­ern Balkans make us sick” (http://​bit​.ly/​1​Q​M​C​YId), Health and Envi­ron­ment Alliance (HEAL), 2016

[9] 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.”



[1] http://​www​.seechangenet​work​.org.

[2] https://​rael​.berke​ley​.edu/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​/​s​u​s​t​a​i​n​a​b​l​e​-​e​n​e​r​g​y​-​f​o​r​-​k​o​s​o​v​o​-​a​n​d​-​s​o​u​t​h​e​a​s​t​-​e​u​r​o​pe/

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