According to a new study presented by the Renovate Europe Campaign, weatherizing European buildings in an important way could boost local GDP by up to 291 billion Euros ($370 billion) by 2017.
Furthermore, gross annual investments of €41 to €78 billion per year in the EU could bring ongoing annual returns of €104 to €175 billion.
As the economy is tumbling across the continent, these investments represent very profitable possibilities.
With enough ambitions, the European Union could slash its greenhouse gases emissions and fossil fuels consumption significantly and create no less than two million jobs in the process.
Ultimately, deep renovations of European buildings would slash the Union’s oil consumption by up to the equivalent of four billion barrels of foreign oil per year (slightly less than 11 million barrels equivalent per day).
The report shows that for each billion euro invested by governments in renovations can return up to five billion for public finances.
During the conference presenting the report, Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said “Energy efficiency is, for the European Union, the most direct and cost-effective way to achieve our strategic goals”.
The European Union has indeed outlined a goal of slashing its greenhouse gases emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990) and to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent as well.
Recently, the European Parliament has shown it is willing to go even further with up to 30 percent reduction of emissions by 2020.
Achieving such cuts would be tricky and would require drastic changes in rent regulation to allow landlords and tenants to share the gains from energy efficient renovations.
I have been advocating housing insulation as a great way to slash greenhouse gases emissions and energy consumption since the writing my Master’s thesis on the very subject back to 2005/06.
This new report brings further arguments to the ones believing that not only Europe can be more energy efficient but it has to do so, to save money, to create jobs… in other words : to get out of its current predicament.