Absorbing the cold and not EU money

“Designing a policy without ensuring the necessary finances for its implementation, however, is akin to setting out naked for a polar expedition.”

Ready for Global Warming

Just picture that. You got your sled, you got your chocolate you even have your fury boot and mittens on. But you got no hat, no coat and no pants. This is the picture that CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe provide us with their study on the failure of New Member States to absorb funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency. You may have some comforts, but you are going to get cold. The graph below describes the significant deficient in absorption.

I recently interviewed some people concerning energy efficiency for a project that I’m working on. The ability to effectively finance energy efficiency projects was a top concern of theirs. This included coming up with schemes for banks to increase their lending and for governments to institute effective policies.

The results of this study indicate the severity of the problem to effectively find ways to manage already existing, or matching, money for projects. It doesn’t appear to be just finding the funding sources, according to this study, the funding is there. In order for these programs to be effective the institutional capacity must be there.

Graph from Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth
Souce: CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth

Overall, the study provides a nice assessment of the barriers existing in each country. And according to them, when you get down to the reasons, climate mitigation projects are not seen as a priority.

I think this explanation is too broad to be accurate. Maybe a better core reason, or explanation, is that energy efficiency isn’t as appealing as other projects, or energy subsidies that can be handed out. The concentration by policy makers has been on supply side ‘greening’ while little has been done for demand side ‘greening’. For anyone looking at the numbers and the payback of energy efficient technologies it is profitable. Therefore simple economics are not the reason for the failure to institute widespread programs. We can only hope the politicians and heads of institutions don’t wait too long before bringing us the clothes so we don’t have to stand around naked.