Columnists: Rod Janssen, Sustainable energy expert

Published on: 5 May 2022

What eceee’s summer study means

eceee is Europe’s largest and oldest NGO dedicated to promoting energy efficiency as a key tool for our economies. This is particularly important as Europe faces the challenges of achieving a zero-carbon energy transition while getting off our dependence on fossil fuel imports, with energy efficiency as a key policy instrument for the road ahead.

In about a month, almost 400 will be attending the first in person eceee summer study since 2019. eceee has been organising bi-annual summer studies since the early 1990s. Proceedings are available on-line beginning with the 1993 summer study. There have been industrial summer studies since 2012. This year, the summer study sees the return of a panel on industry, so all end-use sectors will be covered.

eceee has an important role to play to ensure that Europe maintains its focus on the role improved energy efficiency must play in strengthening our economic and social sustainability. In large part, this is because of the analysis and information generated at the summer studies. eceee has a valuable track record in generating and providing evidence-based knowledge and analysis of policies of both energy efficiency and sufficiency, which focuses on doing things differently within the resource limits. This evidence-based knowledge is key in ensuring our decision-making understands why addressing our energy demand through energy efficiency improvements and integrating the concept of sufficiency becomes the point of departure for other energy policy instruments, such as the deployment of renewable energy, can increase their impact in the energy transition.

If you can, take some time to review the papers that have been delivered at eceee summer studies. There is an unbelievable wealth of analysis, insight and experience that we can all learn from. And remember these papers have been used by researchers, national and local administrations, and especially the European Commission.

This year there are panels covering a range of themes from the dynamics of consumption, innovative policies, monitoring & evaluation, governance, technologies, resilience and more. The concept of sufficiency is integrated in all the panels.

The summer study brings people together. There is a synergy effect that simply is not going to happen through Zoom conferences. The energy efficiency community in Europe – and globally – is growing as it needs to be. The summer studies have been the springboard for careers of recent graduates. Those careers have been in think tanks, government agencies, academia, consulting, energy companies – and more.

Hopefully you are attending this year but don’t despair if you cannot this year. There will be more opportunities and the proceedings provide an important legacy for you to draw upon.

Remember the policy context is rapidly changing. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown, our climate change concerns are more serious than ever and that means an accelerated need to decarbonise to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Added to that is a growing energy security crisis that Europe has not faced in decades. Our first steps have to address energy demand through improved energy efficiency. Let’s continue that journey at the summer study in only a few weeks.

Hope to see you there.

The views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of eceee or any of its members.

Other columns by Rod Janssen