Less solar panels and more thermal insulation

We all have a guru or person who we admire. In my case is the Swiss economist Mr. Massimo Filippini. This professor has done a lot of research on energy consumption in Switzerland and other part of the world. he has carried out innumerable studies with regards to energy consumption. He has been during decades analyzing key economic efficiency of health systems, transport and energy for several countries in Europe. Massimo Filippini (born in Lugano, Switzerland, 1963), is a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the European counterpart to MIT in Boston, and arrived at Galicia to participate in the Atlantic Workshop on Energy and Environmental Economics, a workshop that brings together a selected reduced group of European scientists at Toja every two years to discuss their researches. 


Saving starts at home.

The professor is clear when manifesting that saving starts at home and that the threat of energy poverty, which affects many households in Europe (those who must spend more than 10% of their resources to pay for electricity and heating) can only be prevented by being efficient. And to convince us citizens, he argues that governments have to be pedagogically to educate the population based on real facts.

Filippini presented in Toja the so called European Platform for Research on Economics Efficiency on Energy, a working group together with other leading experts in Europe, including Xavier Labandeira of the University of Vigo, to discuss, among other issues, if they are available important techniques for cost savings on energy consumption  why are  they not available to a large scale?

Throwing money away during 20 years.

The Swiss offers several reasons. He seems to think that when someone is planning to renovate a newly bought house an investment analysis is not carried out before hand. If someone wants to change the windows at his home he just change them but it doesn't stop to think that depending on the choice of windows he makes he can be saving money during 20 years or vice versa, throwing money away during 20 years."

The professor also sees a problem of education and lack of social consideration on the matter. "People tend to put solar panels on the roof to tell everyone: "Look how green I am." But installing well insulated windows, could have far greater impact, but is not as attractive, he laments. Therefore he highlights the need for governments to address the issue didactically. He is totally against the perverse effects of tax inefficiency. He states categorically that people living with limited resources tend to live in inefficient homes. So if you introduce a tax on CO2 it will have a huge effect on them. In this sense, he believes that subsidies should be granted to those who really need them, and not indiscriminately.

Be green my friend...

Filippini said that each country has its own idiosyncrasies and he agrees that there is no one solution at European level, because the heating costs of an Andalusian is necessarily less than that of a Swedish, but believes that a coordination at continental level that exceeds the strict framework of economic is urgently needed. European electricity market reforms were made with the idea of achieving cost savings. Competition is good, but he claims that climate change, security of supply or air pollution is also very important aspects that also need to be taken into account. Markets can only partially resolve these issues. Nor government intervention by itself can be the solution to all our energy problems, but there must be incentives, and politicians are thinking about it. Especially In the UK

At the end of the day, the message that I understand that Fillipini is trying to put across is that the best energy is that which is not wasted. Any energy which is not used is better than any energy which might be produce cheaply, so the best way of been green is by saving energy.

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