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Overcoming barriers to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in the UNECE region reviewed at Kiev energy forum

A number of legislative, policy, economic and financial barriers remain to significant improvements in energy efficiency and increased uptake of renewable energy. Identifying policies and measures in the UNECE region that reduce these barriers can help in increasing investment and financing flows to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and in meeting the ambitious related targets set by countries.

Energy intensity (primary energy use per unit of GDP) remains high despite reductions in recent years. In South-Eastern Europe, energy intensity declined from 5.0 to 4.6 MJ/USD of GDP/PPP from 2010 to 2014. In the sub-region of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Russian Federation it is significantly higher at 7.2 MJ/USD with major differences between the countries. The countries have tremendous untapped renewable energy potential. To date, the share of renewable energy contributed is only 11% of the total final consumption in the UNECE region overall. However, the progress rate significantly differs in the sub-regional context. In South-Eastern Europe, renewable energy has reached 26% of the total energy mix. However, that share is much lower in the Russian Federation at 3.5%, in Eastern Europe at 5.2%, and in Central Asia at 7.4%.

The Workshop on Overcoming barriers to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in the UNECE region held in Kiev on 15 November 2018 as part of the Ninth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development reviewed findings of the study on progress in energy efficiency and renewable energy in selected countries of South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, and in the Russian Federation. The study identified and analyzed policy, regulatory and institutional reforms; capacity of stakeholders in the countries; best practices developed and introduced; and awareness raising activities. The study looked at the processes in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy at the international level, which are particularly beneficial for countries and which can be recommended for replication and scaling up. It also highlighted existing gaps in the countries related to energy efficiency and renewable energy in the areas of policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks, financial environment, education and awareness.

Workshop participants stated that the adoption of policies, the implementation of support measures, the introduction of incentives and support schemes help to reduce the barriers and lead to increasing investment and financing flows to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Countries require policies and measures that support the creation of a favourable environment for renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, in particular, private financing, as well as Public-Private Partnership arrangements. Energy service companies (ESCOs) and Super ESCOs can play an important role in improving energy efficiency. The transferability of successful measures and best practices between countries has a key role to play in scaling up progress.

For more information please see: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=49144