Carbon neutrality cannot be reached without improvements in energy efficiency.
That’s the opinion of Barbara Frei, Executive Vice President of Europe Operations at Schneider Electric, who spoke to ELN Editor Sumit Bose at the company’s Innovation Summit in Barcelona earlier this month.
She said she has seen a massive change in the market during the last year, with politicians suddenly realising there is a real need to go carbon-neutral – she also noted the appetite for sustainability has never been bigger, particularly across Europe.
She told ELN the next significant wave of efficiency improvements would likely take place in buildings, a part of the market she believes has “lots of untapped potential”, but warned many people and businesses are reluctant to get involved.
Ms Frei suggested even if hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) are deployed on the continent’s roads, energy efficiency would still be required to cut energy demand and consumption and ease emissions.
She was positive about the future, noting that people are now starting to see the opportunities and benefits offered by clean technologies rather than being put off by initial economic disadvantages – she said Nordic markets in particular are leading the drive towards more efficient and sustainable economies.
The Executive Vice President said: “I think the technology itself is already here, it has already been here 25 years ago, but it’s getting cheaper, it’s getting more reliable, it’s getting faster.”