Dr Markus Pieper, MEP of the Münsterland CDU district association and rapporteur on the Energy Efficiency Directive, is committed to more Europe and a pan-European energy transition. And above: to less bureaucracy and greater room for manoeuvre for the member states. We asked him five "either/or" questions in a completely unbureaucratic manner.
Directive or free market?
Increasing energy efficiency by 20% by the year 2020 or by 27% by 2030 is unfortunately a rigid requirement of the EU directive. For it has absolutely nothing to do with efficiency, in other words improving the energy used per product unit, but solely with a statutory obligation to save energy. We must therefore give the market greater room for manoeuvre when revising the directive. Incentives such as tax breaks for energy-saving investments, subsidy programmes or EU benchmarks for time-tested contracting models must be included in the savings requirements for the member states. This is how we can reconcile the directive and the free market.
Wind turbine or power station?
Zwischen Windrad und Kraftwerk gibt es keinen Widerspruch. Klug gemanagte Windenergie ist bereits speicherfähig. Damit aber Energiepreise nicht in die Höhe schießen und auch um Ausfälle in schwierigen Situationen zu vermeiden, brauchen wir den Ausgleich durch konventionelle Kraftwerke. Diese werden immer effizienter und auch noch viele Jahre eine Rolle in der Grundlast spielen.
Energy production or energy efficiency?
We make a crucial contribution towards conserving resources by saving energy and achieving greater efficiency of the energy used. We must support this with more market economics and less ideology. At present, I am wondering why most members of the European Parliament are also demanding savings of renewable energies. After all, we must not restrict but rather shape growth in a more ecological way. In other words: achieving more efficient and ecological production of energy.
Buildings or users?
The responsibility is clearly with the users or owners. They must be willing to take energy efficient action. If this is achieved by force and regulation, it will be expensive. Targeted incentives are better. Greater transparency of the individual’s own consumption behaviour is such an incentive for investment in greater savings. I am sceptical about targets for zero or nearly zero-energy buildings. On the one hand, because environmentally friendly energy sources are being increasingly used for heating. On the other, because the climate in the Baltic states is different to that in Greece. You cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.
The aim of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is to increase the total energy efficiency of buildings in Europe. The directive also requires the member states to introduce nearly zero-energy buildings as the standard for all new builds from 2021. Furthermore, it provides for energy certification in the form of energy performance certificates and assessment rules for buildings, also allowing for CO2 emissions. The original directive was drafted in 2002, revised in 2010 and is to be amended again by the end of 2016.
Energy drink or coffee?
Coffee. To be more precise, a double espresso, black. Somehow it also keeps me going longer …