The transition we need to a resource and energy efficient economy will require a major boost in energy efficiency and energy savings. Net energy saving has to be combined with the regionalisation of locally produced energy consumption and built upon sustainable renewable energy sources.
With energy-related emissions accounting for the huge majority of all greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, setting the energy sector on a fundamentally more sustainable path is paramount. This can be achieved via the EU funds with major investment boosts in energy savings and renewables top of the pile.
This is especially the case for central and eastern European countries that have to avoid falling further behind western Europe. They need to massively invest in modern and innovative energy solutions and decrease the energy intensity of their economies.
To move us from fossil fuels to a de-carbonised and eco-efficient economy, EU funds need to go towards retrofitting, renovating and refurbishing current high energy consumption installations, especially in the housing sector and district heating systems. They should leverage efficiency and eco-innovation efforts in production and processes in business and industry.
With the support of EU funds, appropriate smart energy infrastructure must be engineered in order to allow the uptake of renewable energy sources and to support the regionalisation of consumption and generation circuits. Renewable energy sources should be eligible for EU funding to promote its development. Ambitious energy efﬁciency criteria for all projects ﬁnanced by EU funds have to be established to ensure the systematic integration of energy-saving measures, as well as renewable technologies, into all projects where feasible.
The following energy efficiency measures should be supported by the EU funds: