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Identifying and Comparing Obstacles and Incentives for the Implementation of Energy Saving Projects in Eastern and Western European Countries: An Exploratory Study

Leal Filho, Walter and Fedoruk, Mariia and Zahvoyska, Lyudmyla and Avila, Lucas Veiga (2021) Identifying and Comparing Obstacles and Incentives for the Implementation of Energy Saving Projects in Eastern and Western European Countries: An Exploratory Study. Sustainability, 13 (9). ISSN 2071-1050

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Abstract

This comparison study of the implementation of energy-saving projects in buildings was conducted in order to consider the diversity of experiences between Western European countries, which have experience and expertise in this area, and those countries in Eastern Europe that are in the beginning stages. The goal of this paper is to analyze obstacles and incentives for investment in energy conservation in buildings by comparing European countries with a diverse landscape of institutional and economic developments, social-cultural values, and environmental framework conditions in order to understand if these differences are influencing the implementation of energy saving measures and how this can be used to overcome the existing obstacles. The study is based on survey results received from experts in Eastern and Western European countries. The main value of the research is that it offers an overview of the potentials and constraints (barriers) to energy efficiency in Europe, based on data from a sample of western and eastern European countries. Among the most important incentives that were implemented to stimulate energy-saving measures are costs savings and the need to meet regulatory requirements. The main obstacles that still restrict the number of already implemented projects in Europe are a lack of proper financial incentives and that many Eastern countries are still struggling to develop the market of Energy Saving Services (ESS) and to operate better energy waste control systems. The paper concludes with the successful incentives that were implemented to stimulate the energy-saving measures and the main obstacles that still restrict the number of already implemented projects in Europe. Additionally, a set of indicators related to the environmental friendliness and social significance of energy-saving measures was proposed for evaluation of the project results. These were used based on the fact that they may be measured and cater for comparisons. This paper can help improve policy-makers’ selections in order to improve economic instruments appropriate to energy-saving policy objectives and specific national contexts.

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