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02 Oct, 2018

The InventAir believes that good energy policies bring clean air. Why so?

Energy poverty and poor air quality are both long standing issues in the EEC, but have not yet gained sufficient EU-wide recognition as a joint issue. The link between them is not recognized by the current policies and measures: in EEC existing energy efficiency programmes and schemes aimed at alleviating energy poverty allocate grants that allow vulnerable households to directly purchase and utilize humid wood and low-quality coal and burn them in highly inefficient stoves. They do not incentivise change to highly efficient heating equipment or clean fuels. Major obstacle to utilising these grants in an economically viable and environmentally and climate friendly way is the lack of comprehensive energy poverty criteria and indicators that would facilitate the proper identification and precise segmentation of energy poor households. Without sound energy poverty policies on local, national and EU level, there cannot be adequate allocation of funds for changing the old, inefficient heating facilities.

The undesired and negative effect of the low deployment of new and efficient heating technologies is the households’ continuous use of inefficient heating equipment that produces excessive polluting emissions which threaten and deteriorate the population’s health. Black carbon as major product of domestic burning is a forerunner of the GHG emissions having a significant impact on the climate and environmental issues faced by the EEC communities. It is necessary to carefully assess different woodstove changeout options towards cleaner heating for energy poor households that will both reduce air pollution and supress the GHG pollutants increase. Major obstacles to estimating the climate and environmental impact of energy poverty are the lack of coherent methodology to identify and make an inventory of the energy poor households, variety of facultative fuel-to-energy conversion methodologies and country-specific PM and CO2 emissions factors. These are the basis for poor sustainable energy planning on local and national level which hinders the rapid reduction of the polluting emissions and reaching the EU-wide targets for low-carbon development.

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