Energy efficiency to become mainstream and scale
|When HSH Prince Albert of Monaco opened this year's Euro-Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum, he quoted Victor Hugo in saying ‘There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come' - and this was to set the tone for the whole event with all in agreement that as it relates to ‘energy efficiency', the time is now.|
27th March, 2014
With one of the sub-themes of the conference being ‘the economic case for energy efficient buildings', we heard not only from the leading thinkers in this arena but also the leading practitioners, with best practice examples of business growth activities powered, at their core, by sustainability . However, there was also frustration and a general consensus that we still have far to go – in his keynote speech Michael Geissler, Managing Director of the Berlin Energy Agency, said he doubted that the EU was on course to reach its 20-20-20 target by 2020, estimating that 16% might be a more realistic forecast.
When you talk about the concept of energy efficiency to most businesses today – they are convinced. In my day to day discussions with customers, I don't need to turn them on to the idea of energy reduction and I don't have to persuade them that there is a technical solution available in the market. Instead the barriers to implementation centre around three main areas; where do I find the money, who will de-risk the application of the energy efficiency technology and who is going to underwrite the economic outcome?
The answers lie not in a need for more technological advancement but in more innovative business models. Michael Geissler made a compelling case for Energy Performance Contracts, arguing that the model can be applied almost anywhere. Simplicity was a key message - “It's the common characteristic of every deal we've done,” we were told by Jonathan Maxwell, CEO and Co-founding Partner of Sustainable Development Capital. This is why we need a shift in the value proposition to the end customer – we have to sell and deliver outcomes versus products or technology. This change in value story and deliverable is what I believe allows energy efficiency to become mainstream and scale.