CTA has been the partner in charge of organising the event, in which the International Energy Research Centre of the University College Cork, the Limerick Institute of Technology and the Catalonia Institute of Construction Technology have also participated.
Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA) has organised the first online event of the European SPEEDIER project to promote the implementation of energy efficiency measures in SMEs, in which more than 60 attendees from all over Europe have participated. The event was moderated by the International Energy Research Centre (IERC) of the University College Cork (UCC), and also had the participation of the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and the Catalonia Institute of Construction Technology (ITeC).
Over two half-day sessions, attendees were able to learn about the SPEEDIER service and a new approach to persuading SMEs to undertake energy audits and implement energy efficiency measures. The sessions addressed the main barriers to adopting an energy culture and how they can be overcome.
In addition, the innovative tools and techniques that the project is developing to help energy experts effectively engage SMEs in the energy transition and support them in conducting energy assessments, were also presented.
Energy efficiency in SMEs as sustainability booster in Europe
Article 8 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requires the Member States to set up national incentives to assist SMEs to undertake energy audits. Since SMEs account for 99.98% of European enterprises and are responsible for approximately 13% of total energy demand, it is clear that SMEs have enormous potential to save energy and contribute towards the ability of the EU 28 to achieve their collective targets under the EED of a 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
To date, little of this potential has been realised with studies estimating that only 25% of SMEs in Europe have undertaken an energy audit and a range of studies citing barriers that include lack of time, resource, in-house expertise, finance and the low priority nature of energy efficiency compared to other business needs.
Article 8 also requires large enterprises to undertake energy audits every 4 years yet a recent study suggests that only 11% of large enterprises undertaking an audit intend to implement any of its recommendations, and 2 in 5 businesses cite lack of funding or finance as a reason for inaction. It is against this background that the challenges for the SPEEDIER project are set.
SPEEDIER is a highly innovative one-stop-shop solution that applies an integrated approach to energy management, providing information, advice, capacity building, energy auditing, financing, implementation of energy efficiency solutions and monitoring of impacts. SPEEDIER is expected to contribute to energy saving with approximately 8 GWh/year and 1,280 tCO2/year. Within the lifetime of the project, SPEEDIER will train more than 650 staff in the best practices of energy saving. The project will build capacity as well among 50 SPEEDIER experts.
The consortium is led by IERC and is made up of 6 research and technology centres (Limerick Institute of Technology, CTA, PCT Cartuja, Milan Polytechnic and Catalonia Institute of Construction Technology), 3 SMEs (TFC Research & Innovation Limited, Sustainable Innovations and Vertech Group), and 1 non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Bucharest Local Energy Agency -Asociatia Agentia pentru Efficienta Energetica si Proteclia Mediuliu.