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Forward-looking socio-economic research on Energy Efficiency in EU countries.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HERON (Forward-looking socio-economic research on Energy Efficiency in EU countries.)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

HERON aims at facilitating policy makers of multi-level governance in EU, to develop and monitor energy efficiency policies in building and transport sectors, through forward-looking socio-economic research in seven EU and one candidate countries.
The important part of HERON that helps the policy makers of energy efficiency scenarios to include a broader variety of barriers and their assessment is the development of an innovative decision support tool to incorporate non-economic and non-market elements into scenario analysis.
The overall objectives are the
impact of socio-economic and institutional factors on implementing energy efficiency policies and measures
development of energy-efficient pathways to the horizon 2030 and beyond taking into account the socio-economic drivers and the updated energy efficiency measures,
contribution to improving energy modeling by incorporating social, educational and cultural factors so as to reflect the end-user behavior,
establishment of communication channels between researchers, decision makers of different governance levels and social and market stakeholders.
In order to achieve the objectives of the 1st WP, the WP leader, for each of the 8 project countries, produced:
a synopsis of existing energy efficiency policy studies,
a description of current efforts of energy efficiency policies
an identification of identify policy areas suitable for combination with energy efficiency policies and systematically analyzed how they may contribute to improve energy efficiency, particularly if untapped energy saving potentials still exist and
a presentation of participant countries relevant technologies that are already used and promoted by the corresponding policy instruments that the country has implemented for energy efficiency
This work was followed by the 2nd WP, starting from the different typologies of barriers (social, economic, cultural and behavioural) for each country for both buildings and transport sectors, and evaluated their importance in undermining the implementation and the effectiveness of different policy measures. Then, evaluated the relevance of different driving factors for energy efficiency in the eight project countries.
In the 3rd WP was developed the Decision Support Tool (DST) allowing the quantification of the impact of the barriers (social, cultural, educational, economic and institutional) using qualitative information from these tasks, coming with a methodology used and a user’s manual.
The quantification of the barriers impact allows the incorporation of the end-users’ behavior in energy modeling and the formation of Energy Efficiency scenarios that fulfill the requirements of WP4 and WP5. HERON DST software allows users to transform the qualitative information of their report into numerical outcomes. It also allows realizing the impact of barriers on the assumed set of targets (general or technology oriented) and to limit the number of possible scenarios to those that are likely more possible to be successful in delivering the assumed set of targets.
In the 4th WP, the partners collected national level data on energy production, GHG emissions, economic and demographic data for the application in scenario development with LEAP tool in two sectors: buildings and transport and developing 2 scenarios (BAU and Energy Efficiency) until 2030 with the LEAP tool.
A report of linking economic factors with energy consumption presents an econometric model that provides the mathematical reflection of energy consumption as a function of GDP, household income and any other relevant economic factors for the EU countries.
In parallel with all the project activities, the 6th WP was responsible for the dissemination. It provided a website, social media accounts for easy access to project news, newsletter to scientific worldwide community, 1 edition with the findings of the 1st period, 4 published scientific papers, 1 workshop, and press releases in English and national languages.
After 18 months of work, HERON made progress beyond the state of the art by providing:
A. The innovative Decision Support Tool (DST) (methodology and software) that allows:
The user to use qualitative information for evaluating barriers and to conclude with their quantified impact.
After the quantification, the user is able to explore the impact of barriers on the assumed targets that he/she sets and to realize the deviation due to barriers.
the improvement of energy modeling since based on the outcomes the user may develop scenarios using preferred energy efficient technologies and minimizing selected barriers. Such scenarios focus on overcoming barriers, promoting energy efficiency technologies and outlining the respective policy package that will be more effective in reaching the expected targets.
B. Two unique and innovative sets of barriers – which the DST uses – that:
- have 27 barriers each – among which are non-economic and non-market elements, such as social, educational and cultural - and concern end-users behavior towards the implementation of Energy Efficiency (EE) policies/policy instruments and the adoption of EE technologies in buildings and transport.
- are common for the 7 participant countries and include also common/cross-cutting barriers between the two sectors.
- have barriers linked with energy efficient technologies used within each of the HERON countries.
HERON is at the phase during which its work will be disseminated more intensively and the efforts of the partners will focus in achieving the expected impacts - through national workshops, conference in Milan, papers, special editions and press releashes.
The developed software is friendly-user, has instructions that guide the user and was designed exactly to facilitate policy makers. During the upcoming events, the partners will present it and receive feedback from the participants about it. Furthermore, the preparation and submission of papers will allow to present the methodology, the developed scenarios, the policy recommendations and receive also reaction about them. The HERON project will contribute to its expected impacts:
Promotes economic growth and supports jobs in the economy: by allowing the development of more effective scenarios for energy efficiency. More effective policies that support energy efficient investments, allow the transition to a green economy under which opportunities for new job positions are foreseen.
EU expertise in energy efficiency issues: methodology/software are innovative and EU origin. Developed scenarios using the HERON findings have as a significant element the use of energy efficient technologies and practices. These with the implementation of the appropriate policy instruments and funding mechanisms reinforce the EU expertise in such issues.
Improving resources efficiency: Developing relevant policies and achieving less use of energy has direct impact on resources necessary for generation capacity and energy imports.
Benefits for consumers: The HERON work was oriented towards the behavior of end-users. The effective design of policies – using HERON findings - that support the consumers’ behavior change will offer benefits to them (consumers).
Supporting innovation: The effective design of policies – using HERON findings – will affect efforts for producing innovative technologies.