SMEs key to Europe’s decarbonisation efforts

SMEs key to Europe’s decarbonisation efforts
There are over 25 million SMEs in Europe. Image: Clay Banks via Unsplash.

The Horizon 2020 funded project, LEAP4SMEEnergy audit policies to drive energy efficiencyaims to enhance effective policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to undergo energy audits and implement cost-effective, recommended energy-saving measures.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), SMEs account for at least 13 per cent of global final energy consumption annually and energy efficiency improvements are to provide 40 per cent of the reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next 20 years.

However, investment in energy efficiency is expected to fall by 9 per cent in 2020, making effective energy efficiency policies all the more urgent.

As Europe is home to 25 million SMEs – making up 99 per cent of all businesses – energy efficiency policies for SMEs are key to meeting the targets set out in the EU Green Deal.

The LEAP4SME consortium, coordinated by ENEA, comprises nine national energy agencies from Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom, covering 41 per cent of SMEs in Europe and providing the impetus needed to address country irregularities in policy.

LEAP4SME will mobilise and inform private stakeholders of existing opportunities through trainings and workshops in each partner country.

This in turn will facilitate discourse with policymakers, resulting in clear, effective policy recommendations.

By mapping national energy audit programmes and incorporating energy use assessments by sector, LEAP4SME will develop innovative energy audit policies with key stakeholders across Europe, helping Europe take the steps it needs to facilitate a more energy-efficient future.

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