6.6.6 Energy security
Additional co-benefits of building-level GHG mitigation include improved energy security and system reliability (IEA, 2004f), discussed in more detail in Chapter 4. Improving end-use energy efficiency is among the top priorities on the European Commission’s agenda to increase energy security, with the recognition that energy efficiency is likely to generate additional macro-economic benefits because reduced energy imports will improve the trade balances of importing countries (European Commission, 2003).
6.6.7 Summary of co-benefits
In summary, investments in residential and commercial building energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can yield a wide spectrum of benefits well beyond the value of saved energy and reduced GHG emissions. Several climate mitigation studies focusing on the buildings sector maintain that, if co-benefits of the various mitigation options are included in the economic analysis, their economic attractiveness may increase considerably – along with their priority levels in the view of decision-makers (Jakob et al., 2002; Mirasgedis et al., 2004; Banfi et al., 2006). Strategic alliances with other policy fields, such as employment, competitiveness, health, environment, social welfare, poverty alleviation and energy security, can provide broader societal support for climate change mitigation goals and may improve the economics of climate mitigation efforts substantially through sharing the costs or enhancing the dividends (European Commission, 2005). In developing countries, residential and commercial-sector energy efficiency and modern technologies to utilize locally available renewable energy forms, can form essential components of sustainable development strategies.