Introduction and Methodology

This study presents the analysis and key findings of the capitalisation exercise focusing on 12 energy efficiency projects supported by the INTERREG IVC Programme. ‘Capitalisation’ involves collecting, analysing and highlighting the valuable, innovative, interesting and useful aspects of the work undertaken within these projects, and the knowledge accumulated as a result of project cooperation, so they can be used or replicated by other regions and stakeholders.

The 12 core projects that are the focus of this study aim to address one of the main themes of the programme: climate change. There are two main aspects to climate change response: the mitigation of future climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and the adaptation to future projected changes in the climate and their impact on society. This study focuses on arguably the most cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. using energy more efficiently. The figure below attempts to summarise some of the current issues in Energy Efficiency.

Figure 1.1 Current Issues in Energy Efficiency

 

The profile of energy efficiency policy has increased over recent years for a number of reasons. These include its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is of increased interest as the impacts of climate change become more apparent. The economic benefits of energy efficiency are also of increased interest during this ongoing period of economic hardship. Reducing the amount of energy used also helps reduce dependence on imports and other forms of energy generation which some member states feel have unacceptable negative points. For example, Germany is pursuing an energy policy focused on efficiency and renewable energy as the country feels it is a better solution than one involving nuclear power. As will be discussed in chapter 2, the relatively poor performance of the EU in moving towards its goal of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 is also bringing policymaker’s to focus interest on this area.

Local and regional authorities have a clear influence, through a number of routes, on energy efficiency. All 12 INTERREG IVC projects in this study consider some of these influences and how they can best be used.

Definitions of theme-specific terms

A number of theme-specific terms are used in this report. The following section provides a definition of these terms, which should assist the reader:

Cogeneration, or Combined Heat and Power (CHP): This approach combines the generation of electricity with the generation of heat for space heating and/or process needs. This approach results in efficiency and cost savings compared to the separate remote generation of electricity in large power stations and the generation of heat in local heat-only boilers.

Contract Energy Management: These services are typically provided by ESCOs (see below). One of the most interesting aspects is where the company provides the capital to fund the installation of new technologies (to save energy) and the client repays this capital over time as well as benefitting from the reduction in annual energy costs that the new technology brings. Sometimes, the revenue savings that are made via the energy efficiency investments are shared between the ESCO and the client - this is called shared savings.

District heating: The provision of heat (typically hot water) to multiple properties from a central boiler house. This should be more efficient than if this heat is provided by multiple individual boilers.

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). A scheme designed to reduce emissions. A cap is set on the total amount of greenhouse gases that participating installations can emit. 'Allowances' for emissions are then auctioned off or allocated for free, and can subsequently be traded. Installations must monitor and report their CO2 emissions, ensuring they hand in enough allowances to the authorities to cover their emissions. If emission exceeds what is permitted by their allowances, installations must purchase allowances from others. Conversely, if an installation has performed well at reducing its emissions, it can sell its leftover credits. The system is intended to find the most cost-effective ways of reducing emissions without significant government intervention.

Energy efficiency: Energy efficiency measures the amount of energy used to produce a specific output. The output can be a warm, cool and/ or lit building, or a completed unit of production, or a person or thing moved from one place to another or any other process or activity that requires energy.

ESCO: Energy Services Company, a company which will provide energy services for a client. This can include the design, build, installation, operation and finance of energy services.

Fossil energy: This refers to energy sources such as coal, gas and oil. The combustion of these energy sources releases carbon dioxide.

Global warming: A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants. The largest source of man-made carbon dioxide is through the use of fossil fuels.

Green public procurement: Refers to the way which some public sector organisations apply environmental and energy criteria in the selection process when purchasing goods and services. This enables the organisation to lead by example, reduce their environmental and energy impacts (and operating costs) and also helps build a market demand for products and services with a lower impact.

kWh, MWh, GWh: kilo, Mega and Giga watt-hours. A watt hour is the most common unit for measuring electricity consumption.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps: Lights that offer the same level of lighting, longer life and lower energy consumption than most traditional lamps.

Primary energy: Energy sources in a non-modified state. Typically, this refers to fuels rather than electricity, as electricity requires primary energy to be burnt at a power station to generate electricity.

Renewable energy sources (RES): Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are continually replenished such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.

Smart grid: This term covers a wide range of approaches, but, fundamentally, it describes technologies and approaches that allow for a better match between electricity supply and demand. This should enable a reduction in peak demand with a subsequent reduction in the need to retain as much electricity generating capacity.

Methodology

Figure 1.2 provides a brief overview of the approach we have used to bring evidence from existing sources together with that from the projects and the consultations.

Figure 1.2 Approach used for the capitalisation of the INTERREG IVC projects

Structure of the study

The results of the capitalisation work are summarised in this report, which covers the following issues:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction and Methodology — introduces the topic of climate change and describes the methodology for study development. 
  • Chapter 2: Policy Context — presents the key energy efficiency drivers and barriers and the policies and programmes designed to address these. The role and contribution of the INTERREG IVC programme in energy efficiency is also discussed.
  • Chapter 3: Analysis — focuses on the individual projects and the extent to which they address similar challenges. Solutions to common problems as well as descriptions of good practices featuring innovative or transferable aspects are also highlighted. The analysis illustrates how the results of the INTERREG IVC energy efficiency projects are of interest to other regions and how they contribute to improving policies in the field.
  • Chapter 4: Key policy messages — highlights findings relevant to other EU regions as well as policy recommendations for regional, national, and European policymakers and practitioners.

Previous chapter

As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at www.interregeurope.eu