On 5 April 2016 the JRC presented the interactive and collaborative online European Energy Efficiency Platform. This beta platform is conceived to fill the gap opened by scattered data and fragmented knowledge resulting from a rapidly growing energy efficiency market. It is expected to be both a one-stop shop for information retrieval and a meeting point for experts to exchange data and reduce redundant activities.
European Energy Efficiency Platform
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support to the European Commission throughout the whole policy cycle. In this role, the JRC is contributing to the implementation of the Energy Union Framework Strategy and its Roadmap.
The Commission has placed energy efficiency as a core component of the Energy Union. Energy efficiency contributing to the moderation of demand is one of the five dimensions of the Strategy and will be implemented through a set of dedicated proposals and policies, which will contribute to reaching the indicative target of at least 27% for improving energy efficiency in the EU in 2030.
One of the instruments contributing to the wider uptake of energy efficiency is the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan. The SET-Plan has identified ten priority actions to accelerate the transformation of the energy system, four of which relate to energy efficiency: “Develop new materials and technologies for, and the market uptake of energy efficiency solutions for buildings”, “Continue efforts to make EU industry less energy intensive and more competitive, “Create technologies and services for smart homes that provide smart solutions to energy consumers”, “Increase the resilience, security and smartness of the energy systems”.
Furthermore, the Roadmap of the Energy Union Strategy explicitly stresses the need to "improve the data, analysis and intelligence needed to underpin the Energy Union by pooling the relevant knowledge and making it easily accessible to all stakeholders". In one of its recent reports, the IEA was also highlighting that "The Energy Efficiency market is growing in stature and maturity, but it is developing more rapidly than our ability to properly evaluate and understand it" (IEA Energy Efficiency Market Report 2013).
In this context the JRC is launching the European Energy Efficiency Platform (E3P) aimed at bringing together and making sense of the scattered data and knowledge from fragmented energy efficiency areas. To begin with, the E3P is proposed as a tool facilitating and enabling the work of the relevant stakeholders that will cooperate as foreseen in the new SET-Plan governance structure. For instance it will support the work of the Energy Technology Innovation Platform (ETIP) on energy efficiency involving industrial stakeholders including SMEs, and also research organisations and academic stakeholders covering the whole innovation chain, together with representatives of businesses, regulators, civil society and NGOs as deemed relevant. In this context, the E3P will underpin strategic advice to the Commission, as well as Member States and Associated Countries on all issues relevant to progressing their R&I efforts on energy efficiency, thus helping build consensus among stakeholders. The E3P will also contribute to serving the knowledge sharing and reporting requirements of the SET Plan to the state of the Energy Union report through SETIS.
Moreover it is expected that the collective knowledge within the E3P will generate new insights and perspectives which can underpin the key energy efficiency policies, such as the policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive, the Eco-Design or the Covenant of Mayors initiative.
In the longer term, the E3P has the ambition to become the European virtual lab for energy efficiency, where experts and ideas meet to build a stronger and wider energy efficiency knowledge base to ultimately support a better policy making.
What is unique about the European Energy Efficiency Platform?
- The E3P is a platform that will engage experts from Europe and beyond, bringing together knowledge from different stakeholders (research, industry, policy, NGOs) and supporting policy-makers at all levels, from local, to regional, national and EU level, as well as those engaged in all the policy-making phases both in the frame of the SET Plan and beyond.
- The E3P will provide a one-stop platform for the collection and analysis of scattered data relevant for energy efficiency.
- The E3P will allow to link datasets to specific content of the E3P and therefore to provide evidence to support knowledge creation.
- The E3P will connect and strengthen collective knowledge around thematic areas such as products, buildings, urban areas, transport and mobility, industry and energy generation and distribution, as identified in the Integrated Roadmap of the SET-Plan and in the context of deliberations between the Commission, the Member States and the stakeholders for the implementation of the energy efficiency related Actions of the SET-Plan. Four cross-thematic areas are also encompassing policies and targets, technology and standards, economics and financing, behaviours and social.
- The E3P will support the policy making process related to energy efficiency at all level of governance from EU wide to the local level.
More specifically, the E3P will assist the planned energy efficiency ETIP (or any other structure decided to represent the energy efficiency community to the SET-Plan) with its tasks, mainly providing data and intelligence. Potential tasks could include, for instance, the support to the establishment and update of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas for energy efficiency, from basic research to market uptake or the identification of cross-cutting priorities and barriers to innovation.
The core features of the E3P are two mutually reinforcing collaborative tools: the Data Hub, a one-stop-shop for the collection of data and the wikEE for experts' collaboration. Both aim at supporting those in charge of the development, implementation and monitoring of energy efficiency policy, such as the European Commission DGs, national ministries in charge of energy efficiency policies (energy, buildings, financing, etc.) and local authorities, as well as other beneficiaries such as the industry, consumers' organisations, standardisation bodies, research institutes, the scientific community and NGOs at the EU, national, regional and local level.
Data mining, online analytics, performance management and benchmarking functions will allow not only to gather various data and knowledge from stakeholders, but also to compare them with other external sources, thus combining and providing a broader picture of evidence in the decision making process.
Thanks to its collaborative features, the E3P will also be available to support Member States in the context of SET-Plan and beyond, by fostering knowledge transfer, contributing to capacity building and facilitating networking and communication
The JRC provides the web platform as tool to facilitate knowledge exchange and ensures that the needs of the online community experts are met. The JRC will also strive to ensure that data and information provided are consolidated and validated by peers.
Benefits for EU and national Policy-Makers and Stakeholders
The lack of comprehensive and coherent data can impede the design and the implementation of energy efficiency policies. There is a need for unbiased and comprehensive data, as well as knowledge and information sharing at various levels during the whole cycle of Energy Efficiency policy design and implementation.
When used at its full capacity, the E3P will provide data and build capacity for Member States. Sharing best practices from demonstration projects, impact of measures undertaken and policies implemented in different MSs, as well as the data required for the evaluation and impact analysis will furthermore help accelerate the transformation of the EU internal energy market towards higher levels of efficiency while delivering on the EU socio-economic and climate goals.
Moreover, the European Energy Efficiency Platform, with experts and scientists exchanging and comparing data, best practices and knowledge, will help fill gaps and address issues such as:
- overcoming the existing fragmentation of information and data in the energy efficiency field.
- availability and quality of data relevant for assessing energy efficiency options and results;
- knowledge sharing on the implementation of specific energy efficiency policies and measures to achieve both the 2020 and the 2030 climate and energy goals;
- support the assessment of the economic value of energy efficiency policies, in particular regarding growth, innovation and job creation;
Working modalities, users and groups
Contributing to the E3P content
The E3P will be an open platform where registered users from any organisation can comment on the existing content, from datasets to wikEE articles, publications, news or events, thus ensuring information flow and exchange. Interlinks will be established between E3P and the SETIS website.
Moreover, users with specific rights will be able to contribute to the gathering of the collective knowledge by uploading, sharing and exchanging content such as best practices, analysis of various forms of data and trends.
The E3P will also give the possibility to its users to create dedicated working groups set up for specific purposes. These working groups will be organised and governed internally and they will allow sharing and developing bottom-up knowledge.
The first working groups hosted in the E3P are created within the research community carrying out projects involving JRC's and external experts. More working groups can be set up as deemed necessary, as e.g. in support of SET Plan activities on energy efficiency. Working groups will be initially authorised by the JRC and later through a peer-review process.
Collecting data and information
Authorised users will have the possibility to set up specific collections of data or information through web-forms.
Users searching specific data or information will be able to publish Calls. Calls will be given visibility on the E3P Home Page, in order to inform a wide audience about the need to contribute to specific collections.
Moderation of comments threads, as well as validation of the content before publication and specific users authorisations will initially be managed by the JRC and later by E3P communities of peers (such as working group e.g.).
Organisation of the knowledge in the E3P
The information collected in the E3P will be organised around six thematic areas:
- Products addressing policies such as Eco-design, Energy Labelling, Life Cycle Assessment, Circular Economy, etc.;
- Buildings addressing policies, technologies, and financing for deep renovation, Near Zero Energy Buildings and districts
- Urban areas addressing sustainable energy plans, urban planning, mobility, ICTs and smart cities.
- Transport and Mobility addressing policies and technologies of passenger and freight transport on surface, sea and aviation;
- Energy Generation and distribution addressing heating and cooling, electricity network and infrastructures;
- Industry addressing issues like energy intensive industries, best available techniques, SMEs, energy management;
In addition, the content of the E3P, i.e. the consolidated energy efficiency knowledge base, will be associated with one of the four cross-thematic areas, representing the multidisciplinary points of view of various stakeholders and users:
- Energy policies and targets
- Technologies and standards
- Economics and finance
- Behaviours and social
Interaction with other initiatives
The E3P will integrate and complement other ongoing EU level data sources and data base such as the ODYSSE and MURE databases and the new Building Observatory (all financed by the Commission DG ENER) with additional data such as local energy consumption and policies (in the frame of the Covenant of Mayors). Particular attention will be place on geolocation data and Geographical Information System (GIS) tools to allow detailed and local analysis of energy efficiency potential and impact of policies.