Building Efficiency Accelerator regional workshop held in Belgrade

September 28, 2017

Photo: UNEP
Building Efficiency Accelerator regional workshop held in Belgrade

A regional workshop dedicated to accelerating building efficiency  has been held in Belgrade. The workshop has provided experts and representatives of several European cities participating at the project with an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge gained.

The Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) project is a part of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, coordinated globally by the World Resources Institute. The project is implemented in Belgrade by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in cooperation with the City authorities.

At the same time, Belgrade participates in another UNEP project under the SE4All initiative, the Global District Energy in Cities (DES), as one of six cities implementing both projects, Sonja Malićević from UNEP explained at the very beginning of the event titled “Accelerating Building Efficiency: Challenges and opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe”.

Her colleague Lily Riahi of UNEP’s Economy Division in charge of energy and climate stressed that building sector is critical for climate and sustainability goals.  She highlighted importance of planning and policy-making, as well as coordination of different levels of government all the way. She also emphasized the importance of partnership between the private and public sectors.

28 cities and 40 partners, including those from the private sector and civil society, participate in the BEA project, Clay Nesler, BEA co-convenor from Johnson Controls, said.

When cities join BEA they commit to implement one enabling policy and one demonstration project and to develop method to track progress toward goals they have set. Belgrade will  develop guidelines for the implementation of procedures in renovation projects, while the demonstration project will be carried out at the Vlada Obradović Kameni school, Miodrag Grujić from the City’s Secretariat for Environmental Protection said.

Assistant Mayor of Belgrade Borko Milosavljević emphasized that Belgrade wants to to improve energy efficiency, stating that the City has established the Energy Efficiency Fund while State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy Stevica Dedjanski announced establishment of such a fund at the national level.

Cities share challenges and solutions

Jan Olbrycht, President of the Urban Intergroup at the European Parliament, said that efforts have been made in the EU to use structural funds for financing of energy efficiency measures, but also to promote other sources of financing.

Maartin de Groote, Head of Research at the Building Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), said that EU member states have an obligation to submit renovation strategies every three years. He pointed out the benefits of energy efficiency, saying that with good lighting 25 percent of pupils achieve better results, while 9 percent of students work better with improved heating.

Romanas Savickas of the Copenhagen Energy Efficiency Center highlighted the importance of synergy of building efficiency and district heating, while Danfoss’s President of East Europe Region Adam Jedrzejczak said that consumption control can help save up to 30 percent of energy in a building.

The results of several cities and towns have been presented, including Astrahan in Russia, Riga in Latvia, Turkish city of Eskisehir, all participating at the BEA project, as well as  Armenian capital Yerevan and Baku in Azerbaijan.

The participants have also discussed the challenges of financing energy efficiency measures.

The newly appointed Secretary of Environmental Protection Ivana Vilotijević and Secretary of Energy Nataša Putnik also greeted participants, as well as Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjević, who expressed full support to the sustainable energy development of the Serbian capital.