To support the work of the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA), the European Commission has just provided funding for projects in the field of sustainable energy (30 million euros) and sustainable transport (5 million euros) portfolios.
The aim of the project is to further stimulate investments in energy efficiency, especially in buildings, heat networks, street lighting and clean urban transport. The funding is available through the European Investment Bank (EIB), who will ensure the selection of high-quality projects and will lend its expertise to assist with their successful implementation.
“Accelerating energy efficiency investments in all sectors is crucial if we want to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change,” said Thomas Östros, EIB Vice-President in charge of energy. “Over the past 11 years, ELENA has shown that sound technical support is important for investment mobilisation and project implementation. I warmly welcome the continued trust of the European Commission and I am confident that our experts will identify projects in which ELENA grants will make a real difference. It is joint efforts like these that pave Europe’s path to a sustainable future.”
The European Green Deal plans to cut the EU’s energy needs by 32.5 per cent until 2030 and can be achieved with reducing our energy consumption. There is also a policy initiative called the Renovation Wave: one of the largest energy consumers is the building sector, but only 1 per cent of buildings got renovated annually, which means that currently 75 per cent of the building stock is energy inefficient, yet almost 85-95 per cent of today’s buildings will still be in use in 2050, so an urgent action must be taken to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.
Furthermore, around 40 per cent of the total amount of energy is used in the building sector. The goal of the Renovation Wave is to double annual energy renovation rates in the next ten years. This goes hand in hand with the third goal of ELENA: sustainable residential, its aim is to invigorate large-scale refurbishment of the vast housing stock from a 97 million euros budget.
Also, Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy highlighted that energy efficiency first is the guiding principle of the EU’s energy policy and a central tenet of the European Green Deal: the cleanest energy is the energy we do not use.
“In addition to being green, investment in renovation, heating, lighting and clean transport will also bring tangible improvements to people’s lives,” added the Commissioner. “Working with EIB and ELENA ensures that the best projects are being deployed close to the citizens.”