A post on the EURACTIV website has included a statement by Paula Pinho from the European Commission’s Energy Directorate, which read as follows: “We believe that, first and foremost, we need to continue to apply the energy efficiency first principle, ensuring that really we make the most out of our limited resources.”
This emphasis placed on energy efficiency is encouraging, not least because it has positive benefits for the costs of industry and trade as well as achieving environmental benefits.
Slow progress but reasons for optimism
Recently, the Schwank ErP Compliance Blog highlighted the Energy Efficiency 2020 report, an annual global survey undertaken by the IEA (International Energy Agency), which stated that: “Since 2015, global improvements in energy efficiency, as measured by primary energy intensity, have been declining. The Covid-19 crisis adds an extra level of stress. As a result of the crisis and continuing low energy prices, energy intensity is expected to improve by only 0.8% in 2020… This is well below the level needed to achieve global climate and sustainability goals.”
However, the IEA did concede that: “Governments are starting to rise to the challenge of “building back better” from this crisis, announcing billions of dollars in stimulus spending to increase energy efficiency, particularly in buildings and transport.”
A further positive note, from a UK perspective, was sounded in March of this year in a post on the carbonbrief.org website. The in-depth analysis found that: “The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 were 51% below 1990 levels, according to new Carbon Brief analysis. This means the UK is now halfway to meeting its target of “net-zero” emissions by 2050.”
Explaining that the record-breaking 11% fall in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 was largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the author of this post adds that: “The nature of the decline in 2020 shows how challenging it will be for the UK to eliminate its remaining emissions. It also illustrates the progress made so far, ahead of the UK hosting the COP26 UN climate summit in November.”
The critical role of the HVAC sector
The heating, cooling and air conditioning of industrial and commercial buildings can be responsible for significant levels of energy consumption and proactive energy reduction strategies can make an important contribution in the progress towards net zero targets.
A major priority of Schwank engineering’s technological advances has been to maximise the energy efficiency of our HVAC solutions, both in the way they operate and in the way they are manufactured. It is also worth mentioning that regular servicing of HVAC systems is highly important in maintaining their energy efficiency, and Schwank UK has a Service Department that offers nationwide coverage with directly employed, fully qualified service engineers to carry out this work both on our systems and those of other HVAC manufacturers.
It is worth repeating that energy efficiency has the dual benefits of cost reduction and minimising the negative environmental impact of carbon emissions. This makes our role, in common with other HVAC equipment producers and suppliers, to be of prime importance.