Enormous Opportunities to Improve Efficiency

Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy wastage

Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports and lowering our costs, at household and economy-wide levels. While renewable energy technologies also help accomplish these objectives, improving energy efficiency is the cheapest and often most immediate way to reduce the use of fossil fuels. There are enormous opportunities to improve efficiency in every sector of the economy, whether that’s buildings, transportation, industry or energy generation.

Building designers are looking to optimise the efficiency of their buildings and then incorporate renewable energy technologies, leading to the creation of zero-energy buildings. Changes in existing buildings that can also reduce energy usage and costs may include small steps like choosing LED light bulbs and energy-efficient appliances, or larger efforts, such as upgrading insulation and weatherising structures.

Combined heat and power systems capture the “waste” heat from power plants and use it to provide heating, cooling, and/or hot water to nearby buildings and facilities. This increases the energy efficiency of power generation from approximately 33 per cent to up to 80 per cent. The smart grid is another system that will improve the efficiency of electric generation, distribution, and consumption.

Research has shown that 30 per cent of the potential energy savings of high efficiency technologies is lost due to a variety of social, cultural and economic factors. Addressing these factors is also an important component of the drive to make our economy more energy efficient

Neighbourhoods that are designed with mixed-use developments and safe, accessible options for walking, cycling and public transportation are crucial to reducing the need to travel using personal vehicles.

Vehicles with greater energy-efficient require less fuel to cover a given distance. This reduces emissions and also makes such vehicles significantly cheaper to operate. Plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles are particularly fuel-efficient.

Freight can be transported more efficiently by improving the efficiency of rail and road transportation and by shifting long-distance freight transport from road to rail.

The four strategies above improve energy efficiency primarily through technology and design. However, the way people use these technologies influences their effectiveness significantly. What impact can a highly efficient technology have if households and businesses are not motivated to buy, install, and/or activate it? How does driving behaviour and unnecessary idling impact on fuel consumption? How many people will use public transport if there is a cultural stigma against it? Research has shown that 30 per cent of the potential energy savings of high-efficiency technologies is lost due to a variety of social, cultural and economic factors. Addressing these factors is also an important component of the drive to make our economy more energy-efficient.

Slađana Prica, retired ambassador, member of the Forum for International Relations and honorary president of the UNA of Serbia

Diplomatic Response Overdue

The issue of the so-called ‘self-proclaimed’ Kosovo joining Europe’s oldest political organisation has long been an open question. Attempts have been made and lobbying...

Slobodan G. Markovich, Institute for European Studies and Faculty of Political Science

U.S. Elections More Critical for EU Future than EP Elections

While the EU’s right-wing parties are expected to make gains, these gains shouldn’t be expected to substantially alter the composition of the Parliament or...

Ivana Radić Milosavljević, Assistant Professor in European Studies at the University of Belgrade - Faculty of Political Sciences

Not all Right-Wing Parties are Likeminded

The outcome of the European Parliament election is unlikely to cause a dramatic shift in EU policy, particularly foreign policy, but it could hamper...

Rajko Petrović, Research Associate at the Institute of European Studies

The EU Idea is Stronger than the Outcome of Less Important Elections

The electorate’s shift to the right won’t change the nature and essence of the idea of the European Union, and thus neither will it...

Concept Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed

Exciting, energising and breathtaking – the Mercedes‑AMG PureSpeed concept is the highlight in the run-up to the Formula 1™...

Western Balkans Chambers of Commerce Sign Tourism Cooperation Memorandum in US Congress

A landmark Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed at the US Congress, uniting the Chambers of Commerce of the...

EU Sets Global Standard with World’s First Artificial Intelligence Act

The European Union has taken a pioneering step by adopting the world's first Artificial Intelligence Act, setting a potential...

Montenegro’s Independence Day Celebrated

Celebrating Montenegro's Independence Day with an Exhibition on Montenegrin Cyrillic Printing from the 15th and 16th Centuries. In commemoration of...

Business Event Hosts Serbian Employment Service Presentation

In Belgrade on the 15th of May, the Slovenian Business Club, in collaboration with the National Employment Service of...