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Strengthening energy security in South-East Europe by investing in buildings

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An analysis of the vulnerability to gas supply disruptions concludes that Central and South East European (SEE) countries are facing a strategic choice. The latest BPIE report finds that Slovakia and Hungary face a severe risk, and Bulgaria a substantial risk to be unable to heat the national building stocks. The report presents a new Building Vulnerability Indicator and offers an alternative solution to mitigating supply risks through building renovation. A dedicated renovation programme could, within 20 years, address all gas-using buildings in the region and reduce the building stock gas consumption by as much as 8.2 bcm/a, or 70% of the current consumption. 


International developments over the past few years have intensified the energy challenges facing Central and Southern European countries. The interruption of Russian gas supply via Ukraine, volatile global oil prices and divergent interests of State actors have renewed Europe’s concerns about its energy dependency.


The report explores the vulnerability of the building sector to gas supply interruptions in specific countries of the region, through the prism of the Building stock Vulnerability Indicator (BVI). The BVI takes into account the size of gas consumption in the building sector, along with the dependence on imported gas and its import diversity.


The BPIE analysis considers an alternative approach to gas supply investments and instead proposes an “efficiency first” solution: Reducing gas demand through a dedicated building renovation programme could considerably improve energy security and reduce the need for investments in the supply infrastructure. Unlike supply-side solutions, which make the region more dependent on imported gas in the long term, demand-side solutions also bring a raft of other benefits – creating employment, boosting economic growth, cutting fuel poverty and improving the region’s often very poor air quality. 


You can find the report and the press release here.