EPEE welcomes the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan

Date: 16 January 2020
EPEE welcomes the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan

The European Commission released a communication on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (SEIP), the financial pillar of the European Green Deal. The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE), the voice of the cooling industry in Europe, welcomes the initiative and supports the Commission’s efforts to mobilise public and private investment to achieve the ambitious measures set out in the European Green Deal.

The Sustainable Europe Investment Plan features a Just Transition Mechanism that will focus on those regions and sectors that are most affected by the transition due to their high dependence on fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industrial processes.

For the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and the Just Transition Mechanism to succeed, energy efficiency combined with a shift towards renewable energies must be prioritized. Sustainable cooling offers solutions:

  • An integrated approach to cooling and heating can help Europe’s regions shift to renewable energy sources. This can be achieved by providing additional investment in energy efficiency improvements in the demand side and power infrastructure in the supply side. District heating and cooling systems, on-site energy storage and decentralised systems like heat pumps all offer ready-made solutions for integrating higher shares of renewable energy sources in the cooling and heating sectors.

  • New incentives should address the investment cost for higher efficiency solutions, empowering end users to select the most efficient cooling appliances and ensuring that demand and supply side are considered together rather than separately. Currently, however, there is little or no interaction between decisions made to purchase cooling equipment and decisions affecting the supply of electricity although energy providers benefit if users select energy efficient equipment in terms of reduced peak demand and related infrastructural needs.

  • The Just Transition Mechanism, together with the European Social Fund, should ensure the availability of lifelong learning programmes to help the most affected regions keep up with technological developments. EU energy efficiency measures can only be implemented on the ground by professionals that provide the proper sizing, installation, maintenance, are up to speed with digitalisation and address the complexities of large integrated systems.

Andrea Voigt, EPEE Director General, said: “Cooling is indispensable for our society, and we have the solutions to contribute effectively to reach carbon neutrality and help the EU achieve its climate and energy goals. Cooling is part of the solution, and its potential needs to be better recognised!”

The EPEE White Paper on sustainable cooling (#CountOnCooling) outlines five steps which would result in optimising cooling demand, increasing the energy efficiency of cooling systems, and enabling a shift towards renewable energy sources by integrating the cooling sector into the power generation system.

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