Energy efficiency

SPARE project presented at the round table "Promotion of energy efficiency in budgetary institutions and housing fund" within the VII international specialized exhibition "Energy saving and efficiency. Innovation technologies" held on 7 October 2015 in St. Petersburg.

On November 2-3, 2015, a media tour dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources (RESs) and energy efficiency took place in St. Petersburg. Journalists were shown examples of RESs based on solar, wind power, and geothermal energy. They saw an example of energy efficient renovation of a standard high-rise building of the 137 series carried out through joint efforts of homeowners and an energy service company.

Workshop was organized by Friends of the Baltic NGO within SPARE project and 10th all-Russian seminar “Environmental education for sustainable development – contribution to the future” held by St.Petersburg Academy for post-graduate pedagogical education with cooperation of Committee for Education, Committee for nature use and environmental protection, Committee of State Duma on environment, Commission foe environment of St.Petersburg legistlative assembly, and many other educational, business, NGO and other organizations.

The economic conditions have changed – both in Russia and the rest of the world, and this situation is presenting us fresh opportunities to develop energy efficiency. This idea was expressed numerous times during the discussions on energy efficiency that were held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015. The regions can help facilitate the growth, yet the Government must not cut funding of energy efficiency projects, say Russian environmental NGOs.

Having analyzed the last year’s economic and environmental outcomes, the International Energy Agency came to a sensational conclusion. According to the experts, the economic growth of 2014 was not followed by any growth of greenhouse gases emissions. Environmental NGOs say that such an unexpected conclusion is yet another proof that it is possible to have economic development with a zero emissions growth.

Traditionally, at the end of the year 2014 we made an overview of its most important outcomes. RSEU Climate Secretariat highlighted a few events that took place in Russia last year that seem to increase our country’s chances for green development.

In the beginning of December, the Head of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev approved the implementation plan of the state program ‘Energy Efficiency and Energy Development’ for 2014-2016, which implies an approximately seven billion rubles increase in financing for energy projects. However, just a few days later, a Ministry of Energy representative declared that in the next three years the state support for regional energy efficiency programs was going to wind down to zero.

Three quarters of Russians believe climate change is a threat to human existence, and one third is absolutely sure of this, according to results of a public opinion poll by the Global Challenges Foundation in Stockholm. Representatives of non-governmental environmental organizations believe that the climate change comes out of the sphere of scientific discussion and becomes a pressing issue for residents of Russia.

Comparative efficiencies of different measures to combat climate change are unclear. The Economist has presented an assessment for effectiveness of various efforts to prevent emissions of greenhouse gases. The Russian Social Ecological Union believes that the key way to solve the problem of climate change is combining development of a variety of renewable energy sources and reduction of energy consumption due to energy conservation and efficiency.

Banks are one of the biggest sources of funds for promotion of energy efficiency programs. A substantial part of the activities in this direction can be carried out by energy service contracts - the potential of this market is at least 500 billion roubles a year. According to the Russian Social Ecological Union, the key condition for achieving the Government's objectives for energy efficiency is cooperation between the state, the public, businesses and banks.

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