Tuesday 17 November 2020

Conventionally energy efficiency projects have been evaluated in terms of payback or IRR, using capex and projected savings – basically spend £x and save £y on energy.  Although strictly financial criteria are important, and should be a determinant of capital allocation for organisations and governments, the simplistic way of arriving at those financial assessments is no longer valid. The paradigm has to change from simply assessing energy saving to assessing value – and that means all value streams and all types of impact.  Doing so will unlock the massive potential for improving efficiency and the attendant multiple co-benefits.


As an example, an LED lighting project can bring significant energy savings. But it can also bring additional value streams in addition to energy savings such as reduced maintenance costs and demand response capabilities that can generate income, it can also bring non-energy benefits such as better flexibility of lighting that contributes to employee satisfaction and comfort, higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, better learning outcomes in schools and better health outcomes in hospitals.  All these value streams need to be identified and valued in project assessment.


Another example we are involved in is the use of distributed solar and efficiency combined in new ‘Convergence’ business models in India. These projects reduce energy costs, reduce emissions, increase health and safety, reduce the need for women to gather fuel, improve indoor air quality and can contribute to increased agricultural outputs.  Identifying, valuing and measuring all these impacts is important. In development terms energy access is critical, but energy is not the be all and end all – it is all about development, improving the life of people.


The way to do this is to consider them at the design and evaluation stage using an approach similar to the impact management project’s impact measurement system. Valuing some of the impacts may be difficult, but if they are identified and some methodology used to estimate them, then in project evaluation a debate can be had about the accuracy of the estimate. Importantly, as in the impact management project’s approach sets out, it is important at the design stage to consider and build in post-investment impact measurement.


Considering value and impact in energy efficiency investments has several effects:


  • It can help to improve financial returns and hence the probability of investment by identifying value streams that would have occurred anyway but traditionally would not have been counted in the evaluation.
  • It can make the proposed investment more strategic, again increasing the probability of investment.
  • It means investments can become impact investments, something that makes them interesting to impact investors.
  • As companies and others increasingly track their ‘green’ investment, as required by the EU Taxonomy and other planned regulations, it can put efficiency firmly in the green, impact category.


Let’s design, evaluate and measure energy efficiency projects from a total value and impact perspective rather than just an energy saving perspective.  Doing so will increase investment flows and hence the uptake of the economic potential, and help achieve our climate and other environmental goals.


EnergyPro can assist with the design, evaluation and measurement of all value streams and impacts when designing and assessing projects.



Monday 5 October 2020

On the 30th September I moderated a webinar on energy efficiency, Powering an Energy Efficient Future, for the IPFA as part of their energy transition series. 

We had three great panelists who are all involved directly in energy efficiency and investing in energy efficiency:

Murray Birt, Senior ESG Strategist for DWS based in London. Murray is involved in all aspects of sustainability in DWS but has a particular interest in energy efficiency and worked with several groups on energy efficiency including the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group, EEFIG, and the Green Finance Institute.

Jessica Luk, Director of Development NYCEEC in New York which was the US’s first local green bank. Jessica has wide experience in sustainability, policy and finance including in the NYC Mayors Office of Sustainability during Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, and she was one of the founders of NYCEEC.

Andy Holzhauser, from Donovan Energy based in Ohio. Donovan Energy develops and delivers energy efficiency projects for a wide range of commercial clients and Andy is an expert on PACE financing which is a major way of funding efficiency in the US. He has drafted PACE legislation in two states and sits on the board of PACE Nation – the association for PACE in the US.

Below is an edited version of my introductory remarks.

Welcome to this webinar which is looking at energy efficiency which as we will hear is an essential part of the energy transition but has long been neglected compared to cooler things like solar, wind and storage.  Thanks to the IPFA for inviting me to moderate the discussion. This may be the last in the series but believe me, this is the most important element of the energy transition.

I should start off by defining energy efficiency. Essentially it is all about reducing the energy input for any particular activity. As an energy efficiency specialist I tend towards a fundamental position that excludes generation technologies, and this means things like insulation or better controls, but more and more when we say ‘energy efficiency’ it is about the whole range of demand side energy measures, including local generation and demand response coming together to reduce primary energy input for any given activity. I actually like the less common term, energy productivity, but let’s stick with energy efficiency.  

Energy efficiency has long been the cinderella of energy policy. It has usually been last in importance for policy makers and energy specialists, partly because by definition it is ‘the absence of something’, partly because it is made up of hundreds and thousands small projects which are hard to see, and partly because it is boring. In the words on a poster I once saw in the office of a UK Energy Minister there is a sense that ‘real men build power stations”, they don’t do energy efficiency.  Power stations, wind turbines and even solar panels are photogenic and can be used as backdrops by politicians, things like insulation can’t and so efficiency is often literally an after thought in energy policy – politicians often finish energy policy speeches by saying “and finally we must not forget energy efficiency”, even though they then promptly forget it.

But having said all that when you look at it properly the reality is very different. Energy efficiency is the largest, cheapest and quickest energy resource that we have and after many years and decades of neglect this is being recognised by governments and investors around the world and that is why we are here today. I just want to go through some of the important characteristics of energy efficiency.

Let’s start with a fundamental truth, users of energy, whether they be industrial, commercial or domestic, do not want or need electricity or fuel per se, they want or need the services that energy delivers. In the words of the energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins, people don’t want energy, they want ‘warm showers, cold beer, comfort, mobility and illumination’. Shifting the focus onto the services required and the total cost and total energy input to provide them, opens up the scope for far greater levels of energy efficiency as well as new energy service based business models.

Energy efficiency projects often have rapid paybacks. In the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group’s (EEFIG) Derisking Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP)[i], database, which includes over 10,000 projects, the average reported paybacks are 5 years for buildings and 2 years for industrial projects.

Despite this economic attractiveness many potential projects do not proceed because of other priorities of the project host, lack of internal capacity to develop projects, or shortage of investment capital. Furthermore, normal investments in building refurbishments and industrial facilities or new buildings and facilities often do not utilise all of the cost-effective potential for energy efficiency.

Many studies have shown that energy efficiency is the cheapest way of providing energy services. A UK study in 2012 based on real projects demonstrated that the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for energy efficiency was £4.34/MWh compared to £44/MWh for off-shore wind and £95/MWh for nuclear. The projects in EEFIG’s DEEP database showed an even lower LCOE.  Energy efficiency really is the cheapest energy option.

The potential for improved energy efficiency is massive. It has been extensively studied, across many sectors and many geographies. Research at the University of Cambridge[ii] concluded that globally we use 475 Exajoules of primary energy resources to provide 55 Exajoules of useful energy services (motion, heat, cooling, light and sound), which means that for all of our technology we have an overall global energy efficiency of only 11%, which is why my blog is called onlyelevenpercent.com.  Although this number does not take into account economic considerations it shows that there is a huge potential resource in untapped energy efficiency opportunities, a resource that is technically feasible but not necessarily economic, analogous to an oil or gas resource estimate. The most interesting part of this resource is the economic potential, potential that is both technically and economically feasible but not yet exploited, which can be considered similar to proven reserves in oil and gas – typically 30-40% reductions in energy use. 

The impact of energy efficiency in the energy transition has been neglected compared to fossil fuel and renewables. Without energy efficiency improvements since 2000, global energy use would have been 13% higher in 2018, and energy related carbon emissions would have been 14% higher[iii]. In one US analysis energy efficiency was shown to have ‘fuelled’ three quarters of the demand growth for energy related services since 1970 and the UK story has been similar. People loosely talk about energy use going up but in the UK, the US and other countries it is actually going down – mainly because of improved efficiency. Once we start to electrify transport and heat with more and more renewable power it will go down even more as we cut out thermal generation, which is incredibly wasteful, and use electric motors that are far more efficient than internal combustion engines.

Energy efficiency has been described as ‘the linchpin that can keep the door open to a 2°C future’. The IEA estimates that to achieve a 2°C scenario energy efficiency must account for 38% of the total cumulative emission reduction through 2050, while renewable energy only needs to account for 32%.

So, we have this massive, very cheap and under-exploited energy efficiency resource that is an essential part of the global energy transition and critical to achieving our carbon targets.  We are surrounded by a giant reserve of cheap, clean and exploitable energy in the form of energy efficiency potential everywhere you look, but we have historically under-invested in it and continue to under-invest.  The essential challenge is how to shift investment into energy efficiency to even up the imbalance between investment into energy supply and improving energy efficiency.

I just want to wrap up by talking about the many reasons why financial institutions should consider deploying more capital into energy efficiency which include:

  • Energy efficiency represents a large potential market. The IEA estimates that in 2018 global investment in energy efficiency was USD 240 billion. To achieve Paris aligned goals this level of investment needs to grow to circa USD 1 trillion per annum by 2050 and the provision of finance can help overcome some of the barriers to energy efficiency investment.
  • Energy efficiency can produce long-term, stable cash flows, which can provide yield based products including green bonds if sufficient scale is achieved.
  • Improved energy efficiency reduces risks in two ways. Firstly, increasing energy efficiency improves the cash flow of project hosts. Secondly there is the risk of financing assets that become stranded as energy efficiency regulations are tightened. For example, in England & Wales the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards regulations make it unlawful to lease a commercial building with an Energy Performance Certificate rating below E, and the minimum standard will be tightened over time. Failure to upgrade poorly performing buildings puts owners of low performing buildings, and their lenders, at risk.
  • Energy efficiency is one of the key pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is strongly supportive of net zero commitments and the Paris Agreement.
  • Investing in improving energy efficiency is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 7, ‘Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’, and particularly Target 7.3: ‘Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030’. It is also supportive of SDG 9, ‘Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation’, SDG 11 ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, and SDG 12 ‘Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’.
  • Energy efficiency is an impact investment. As well as reducing energy use, efficiency projects can have a positive impact on factors such as local air pollution, job creation, improved health and learning outcomes. Therefore it should be a key part of any impact investing programme or CSR/ESG programme.
  • Regulators are increasingly looking at climate related risks. Actions include asking banks to disclose the climate-related risks of their loan portfolios which will allow financial institutions to be better informed about loan performance and thus the cost of risk and carry out better risk appraisal. Possible future actions may include reducing capital reserve requirements for ‘green’ financing. Investing in energy efficiency reduces climate related risks.

We believe that these reasons mean that energy efficiency investment should increasingly be on the board room agenda of all financial institutions. Whatever markets they operate in there are growth opportunities, opportunities for risk reduction and opportunities to achieve wider impact aims.

It appears that the scale and attractiveness of the energy efficiency resource is finally being recognised and a new asset class is emerging.

Thanks to IPFA for hosting the webinar and including efficiency in the energy transition series. https://www.ipfa.org

[i] EEFIG Derisking Energy Efficiency Platform. https://deep.eefig.eu

[ii] Reducing Energy Demand: What are the Practical Limits? Jonathan M. Cullen, Julian M. Allwood, and Edward H. Borgstein. Environmental Science & Technology. 2011.

[iii] Recommendations of the Global Commission. Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency. June 2020.

Wednesday 8 July 2020

We often talk about the performance gap in energy efficiency and there is no doubt that it, or at least perceived performance risk, is one of the barriers to greater investment into energy efficiency. I was reminded recently, however, that all energy sources have performance risk. kWh Analytics published their Solar Risk Assessment: 2020 report which looks at actual data on 20% of the US operating solar projects with the aim of informing investors. It makes for interesting reading and contains lessons for the energy efficiency industry.

The first conclusion is that in solar P90 isn’t P90 anymore. P90 production events are occurring more than 3x more frequently than the P90 definition implies and P90 downside events occur so often they have nearly become P50s. Furthermore extreme downside (‘P99’) events are occurring 1 in 6 years, an increase from 1 in 20 observed last year and far from the 1 in 100 per definition.  Given its position in the capital structure, equity capital suffers most when solar assets underperform. When a typical solar performs at the official P90, equity cash yield drops by 50%.

Other conclusions worth noting:

  • Optimistic irradiance assumptions contribute to 5% under performance. Some of this is due to “irradiance shopping” i.e. purposely using an assumed irradiance higher than the long-term average at the site
  • Sub-hourly Variability of the solar resource impacts actual production by between 1 and 4%
  • US regional irradiance is down 5 to 7% from average
  • The true cost of O&M can be 28% higher than planned
  • ‘Weather adjustment bias’ is responsible for up to 8% bias in measured underperformance. This is because the industry often measures weather impact in two different ways; relying on pyranometers for actual insolation but using Independent Engineer satellite data for expected insolation.

None of this is intended to criticize the solar industry, only to reflect that output of solar, which is often incorrectly thought to be very predictable, (‘the sun always shines’), is more error prone than is usually thought. It also shows the importance of looking at actual data and really understanding where the data going into a financial model comes from.

Also we should never forget that every type of energy project has performance risk, whether it be solar, wind, coal, nuclear or gas generation or even an oil well.  They don’t all produce exactly what was planned at the investment decision! Energy efficiency is not alone in having performance risk. Back in Enron Energy Services we started work in the area of risk assessment of energy efficiency projects and Paul Matthew, Steve Kromer, Osman Sezgen and Steve Myers, who were the pioneers, wrote about the approach in a paper that was way ahead of its time; ‘Actuarial pricing of energy efficiency projects: lessons foul and fair’[1].  It needs to be studied again.

The lesson here for energy efficiency is that we need to collect the data on performance of real projects and start to carry out these kinds of analysis to generate portfolio performance curves. Typically this is not done, even within organisations making internal investments. The EEFIG Derisking Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP) project is a good starting point but to be really useful it needs real data from actual project performance, something that is being included in the latest EEFIG project. The work of Recurve in the USA and the use of a standardised and industry agreed ‘weights and measures’ approach to measuring a unit of energy efficiency, is the way forward as it can access smart meter data across all sites where interventions occur automatically. The old way of doing M&V cannot scale. Better data can enable project financing and insurance solutions.

Collecting real performance data in the way that kWh Analytics do for solar is the way to get better understanding, drive better performance and drive more investment into efficiency.

In God we trust, all others must bring data

W. Edwards Deming

[1] Energy Policy 33 (2005) 1319-1328

Friday 3 July 2020

I don’t often write book reviews these days but every so often a book comes along that is so important or moving that I feel the need. ‘Healthy Buildings’ is one of those and it should become the go to reference for anyone maintaining, refurbishing, designing, owning or just working in buildings – so that is just about everybody. Clearly in the light of COVID-19 it is a very timely book.

It starts with very personal introductions explaining how the authors got to where they are and the work that led to this book.  I liked this approach as it helps to frame the ‘why’, why is the subject important and why do they care enough about it to write a book, which as I know is a huge commitment on top of your day job. Throughout the book is highly informative, extensively referenced and yet easy to read. I really like the style of the book when explaining scientific concepts, captured in the phrase; “environmental media, which is the annoying public health way of saying air, water, or dust”.

A lot of the issues discussed have been known about for a long while, but either hidden away, dealt with peripherally or separately in silos, which is part of the problem we face. This book brings them all together in an integrated way and presents enough hard evidence on the value of addressing health in building design, refurbishment and operation to convince even the most hard-nosed real estate investor.  It is interesting how much evidence there is that is either not known about or has been systematically ignored, something that the authors bring out using the story of a C-suite executive from company selling air filters asking if there was any evidence of the health effects of PM2.5. There is a huge evidence base but surprisingly enough, a senior executive from a company that has an interest in being on top of that particular subject didn’t know about it. That is a sad commentary on the ‘captains of industry’ that we have in the built environment sector.

The book brings home the clear message that our collective health is not something that comes solely from random events, or is managed or influenced solely by medical professionals, but instead is highly affected by the buildings we inhabit for 90% of the time and hence by building designers, owners and operators. It also makes the overwhelming case on the effects on productivity of higher levels of ventilation. The 3/30/300 rule quoted in the book is a good ready reckoner, at least for office buildings: 3 units of cost on utilities, 30 on rent and 300 on staff, so a small gain in productivity is worth far more than the usual energy savings. All of this fits with the thinking about multiple, strategic non-energy benefits of energy efficiency which I have often talked about. The strategic (and financial) value of improved productivity far outweighs energy savings and we need to be selling productivity improvements that as a side benefit can bring energy savings. There is a twist to this, making a building healthier, for instance by increasing ventilation rates, will increase energy use but this could be very worthwhile from productivity gains. It also of course improves the returns from any energy efficiency measure e.g. heat recovery and it can improve the case for onsite-generation and/or storage, so we need to factor all these things into better business cases for holistic projects that incorporate health related benefits, productivity benefits and energy efficiency benefits.  We need to think about the energy baseline we are comparing to – the current situation or the new situation with increased ventilation.

The book once again reminds us of the importance of language. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a known concept but actually IEQ, Indoor Environmental Quality, may be a better metric as it covers all aspects of the indoor environment not just air quality.  It also reminds us that design codes or building regulations are minimum performance standards and may be far from the ideal. Who really wants to perform at the minimum level? But we design and operate buildings at those levels, or even below, all the time. 

As well as a treasure trove of evidence and tools that can be used to sell healthy buildings to decision makers, as well as operationalise healthy buildings in real life situations, the book offers suggestions and tools for doing just that. As I have said before, capturing and valuing all the benefits of building upgrades is critical for making the business case stack up, and the health and productivity benefits are ones that are the largest and yet the most often ignored. Like energy efficiency there is massive potential for cost-effective improvement in the health impact of buildings and exploiting that potential is critical for addressing massive health problems in all societies, just like exploiting energy efficiency is for addressing the climate problem. This issue seems to be being neglected in a lot of the ‘build back better’ conversations which seem too focused on the real and important energy efficiency benefits. Health benefits may get better traction with governments, especially in the COVID world we now inhabit.

I am sure this is a book that I will come back to time and time again. We are now taking inspiration from it as we develop new ideas and service offerings about integrated health and energy retrofits.

Friday 26 June 2020

With the publication of the report by the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, coinciding with the IEA’s 5th annual energy efficiency conference and European Sustainable Energy Week’s session on attracting investment into energy efficiency, it seemed appropriate to comment on the Commission’s report and the state of the efficiency market. First of all it is important to say that I really welcome the work of the Commission and the report touches on several themes I laid out in my input. There is a lot to like about it.

Firstly it helps focus high-level attention on energy efficiency – something that we still need to do at every opportunity as despite lip service paid by some politicians, efficiency usually comes last in their thinking on energy.

Secondly it is global – the energy efficiency potential is global and what is more it is everywhere in every sector of the economy, in every building, every industrial facility, every device and every process when you look with the right mindset. Untapped energy efficiency is like an oil and gas reserve, it is sitting there untapped but unlike oil and gas it is super-abundant, clean and quick to exploit.

Thirdly it is about urgent action.  Now is the time for urgent and radical action rather than just incremental change.  We can’t sit around talking about it any longer, we know how to implement policies and programmes that lead to greater efficiency levels, we just need more leadership and real commitment.

Several points in the report are ones we have long argued for, including:

  • design programmes to take advantage of, and overcome barriers faced during specific renovation ‘triggers’, such as change of use, of ownership or a reconfiguration/renovation project.
  • using government procurement to lead the way and create scale. India’s Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is the world leader in this approach and all countries need to learn from India and EESL. Government procurement programmes by focusing on least cost first generally don’t drive energy efficiency measures.  The scale of government demand can also drive down costs as dramatically shown by EESL.
  • shifting away from direct grants and loans by offering derisking support to attract private capital into energy efficiency. The work of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) is a good example of this.

On a personal and professional note it was good to see reference in the report to two of the projects we have been very closely involved in over the last five years or so. The work of EEFIG and the Investor Confidence Project both get a mention in the finance section. Both projects are helping to scale up investment into energy efficiency which is the purpose of EnergyPro. Also of course we work closely with EESL through our JV with them, EPAL, which has deployed more than £60m into UK energy efficiency companies.

The frustrating thing, not with the Commission so much but with the field in general, is that in some ways little of this is new. We have known that the cost-effective potential for improved efficiency, the equivalent of an oil and gas reserve just waiting to be drilled, is probably 20-30% of current energy consumption for a very long time, and that with proven design techniques the cost-effective potential could be much higher. The uneconomic but technically possible, the equivalent of an oil and gas resource, is even larger – probably 75% of total energy consumption. Many analysts including Amory Lovins, Skip Laitner and the author included, have written about this potential for decades. (My PhD was titled ‘the potential for energy conserving capital equipment in UK industries’). On the policy and programme side we have many, many examples from around the world of effective policies on energy efficiency, we just need to increase the rate of adoption of these models and not try to re-invent the wheel.  We also need to give regulations more bite, for instance, through tightening building regulations and minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings, despite the lobbying efforts of developers and construction owners.

So what else would we have liked to see in the report that needs to be picked up in future work?

First of all there was little mention of the importance of flexibility and the grid edge. The grid edge is the new frontier, and energy efficiency needs to be viewed as a major distributed energy resource just like generation or demand response options. We need to use data to understand the effect of various efficiency measures on load curves so that they can be properly valued in the electricity distribution system. The old fixed border between supplier and user, the energy meter, is becoming semi-permeable, as users can also produce and sell energy and ancillary services to the grid. The grid is shifting from a Command and Control centralised system to a highly decentralised system which will use data, AI and machine learning to react locally in real-time.

Data from smart meters coupled with standardised ways of defining what is, and what is not an energy saving, has made it possible for the first time to create a true market for energy efficiency. There is a lot of talk about ‘the market for energy efficiency’ but the truth is there is not, and never has been, a market for energy efficiency, there are just a lot of intersecting markets for stuff and services that may, or may not, deliver energy savings. With metered savings we can create contract forms equivalent to Power Purchase Agreements that can be financed and we can value savings in time and location.

The rise in importance of the grid edge leads onto the problem of defining energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is about reducing the energy input for any given activity – improving energy productivity. The focus has mainly been on end users becoming more efficient and fundamentalists – myself included – like to use the term only for activities that reduce energy end use – but what we really care about is the overall energy efficiency or productivity of the entire economy. The meaning of the term ‘energy efficiency’ is now shifting to incorporate all demand side assets and projects, rather than just referring to pure energy saving projects. It now covers a wide range of technologies and business models including: demand response, distributed generation, behind-the-meter energy storage, virtual power plants, micro-grids, building-to-grid, industry-to-grid, vehicle-to-grid, as well as local generation and utilisation of heat in efficient and flexible systems. All of these contribute to system wide efficiency gains, and in talking about efficiency we need to recognise this convergence and recognise it as being positive. Doing so also helps move efficiency from its old emphasis on ‘savings’, ‘conservation’ and being a ‘cause’ to a revenue producing and profit making opportunity. What we are seeing is nothing less than a shift in the balance of energy system investment from the supply side to demand side.

On finance we need to recognise that there is growing interest from investors in energy efficiency as well as the barriers to investment and do more work to overcome them and help investors along the journey to deploying more capital into efficiency. There is still a need for ‘derisking’ strategies for consumers and investors, and the EEFIG work has implemented some of these, including the DEEP database and the Underwriting Toolkit. We should not forget that every day banks and investors are making decisions that impact on energy efficiency, normal decisions to support new buildings, renovations of buildings, new industrial facilities etc which often (nearly always) ignore even the cost-effective energy efficiency potential that if utilised would reduce costs for the end-user and reduce risks for the bank or investor.  We are missing thousands of cost-effective investment opportunities for better energy efficiency every day. Organisations like EBRD and ING recognise this and have built efficiency reviews into normal lending practices. The advent of the sustainable finance taxonomy regulations should drive more of this type of behaviour as financial institutions have to report the climate risks of their portfolios.

The Commission does talk about the need for a cross-cutting, all of government approach and the COVID-19 crisis has made that even more important. There needs to be a new emphasis on healthy buildings and efficiency is at the centre of this. The health impacts of greater levels of efficiency, both direct and indirect and both indoor and outdoor air quality, are clear. We have an opportunity now to re-design and re-evaluate renovation projects to address both health and energy issues.  When assessing programmes governments need to assess all the benefits including health impacts, as well as the many other non-energy benefits that efficiency brings. I often think that the energy efficiency industry misses this aspect because of its focus on the pure energy benefits, ‘the cause’. Even much of the talk of the COVID-19 recovery plans to invest in building renovation seem to miss this critical factor that can make building renovation a strategic necessity rather than just about energy saving.  

As the Commission points out there is a need to further strengthen international collaboration. We continue to work internationally, both with European partners and our JV partner EESL through EnergyPro Asset Management Ltd (EPAM). EPAM is now working with EESL and other partners to transfer UK technologies and know-how in areas such as trigeneration, e-mobility and cooling, to India and find opportunities for Indian businesses in Europe. International collaboration brings it with new insights and numerous benefits far outside the immediate energy benefits.     

To sum up, it is good to see the IEA further increase its focus on energy efficiency and the work of the Commission but there is always more to do. We need to continue to stress the size of the energy efficiency ‘reserves’ and highlight the results that efficiency has already produced, something that has long been neglected – particularly when supply options are being promoted. The process we are all engaged in is shifting the balance of energy investment from the supply side to the demand side. The IEA’s annual energy efficiency reports show that investment into efficiency has increased but it needs to quadruple by 2050 to bring it on a par with energy supply investment so there is much to do.

We look forward to future international collaboration and continuing to drive greater investment into energy efficiency.

Dr Steven Fawkes

Welcome to my blog on energy efficiency and energy efficiency financing. The first question people ask is why my blog is called 'only eleven percent' - the answer is here. I look forward to engaging with you!

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