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Murmansk Energy Efficiency Festival, 25.-26. February 2015, Murmansk

Energy is a topic which concerns many and impacts widely. Energy is valuable merchandise in trade and for the end user, and should as with any other valuable merchandise be used with reason. This is however not always true. Through our work in this field, we frequently see how this valuable merchandise is wasted. Not only is the value of it gone, but as with any other waste, nature and environment are affected negatively. That brings us to energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is not about energy saving, it is about minimizing energy wasting. Energy efficiency means to use the amount of energy needed to complete required tasks, with minimum wasting in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murmansk Drum girls performing at the festival.

2015 was the first year Murmansk Energy Efficiency Festival (MEEF) was held. It will not be the last, as organizers and relevant stake holders are already planning for the next. 

As part of the organizing team, I very much welcome this important event in Murmansk. The festival was a great success, bringing together industry, companies, authorities, officials and academics from different places in Russia and the Nordic countries. MEEF proved to be a much awaited arena for sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas, for strengthening partnerships and for facilitating cooperation across borders. More than 130 participants were registered at this year’s festival. I expect this number to increase for the next.

The festival program was organized in plenary and parallel sessions, divided into thematic fields ranging from politics to practical implementation and projects. During the two days of the festival, speakers from Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden gave in total 38 interesting presentations on the topic of energy efficiency. In summary, presentations show that energy efficiency is increasingly given focus on all levels, from end users and private companies to politicians, and in all countries. Presentations do however also show that there is a lot of work to do in this field still. In many areas, this work has just started. Efforts to improve energy efficiency are still too fragmented with lack of long term strategies. Even where strategies are laid, resources are lacking in order to fulfill them. There is always an economic side of the problems, and we have to realize that the situation will not become better without any economic incentives being brought onto the table. We also realize that slow implementation of energy efficiency is not all about technology. Technological, profitable solutions are already available and it is just a matter of utilizing them. However, in order for the awareness and markets to grow, pressure has to come from end users. They have to see the needs and benefits of investing in energy efficiency. There are serious systemic obstacles that hinder the end users motivation for doing energy efficiency measures. Some examples are how energy tariffs are being structured, lack of financial subsidies, not sufficient payback on investments, lack of information on how to implement measures, difficult rules and regulations on import/export, whether condominiums/shared housing exist and how they are organized and more.

Some of these issues will be further enlightened on the next festival. In a longer term perspective, MEEF will contribute to streamlining a common market, develop further cross border supply industry for buildings market (both for new constructions and for renovation projects) within energy efficiency services and products, increase user awareness and reduce environmental impacts. For the latter it is important that we gain mutual understanding of the challenges of the north. MEEF’s vision is to “build up and maintain good international relationship and utilize mutual benefits of each other’s competence and capacities within energy efficiency to support development of the high north region”.

About the MEEF organizing team:

MEEF was organized by Narvik University College in cooperation with Murmansk State Technical University, Murmansk Energy Efficiency Agency, Murmansk Regional Demonstration and Education Center of Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency. In addition, persons involved in the Kolarctic projects Sustainable Buildings for the High North (SBHN) and Heat Pump Promotion in the Barents Region (HePuPro) gave very important contributions. Special thanks go to:

  • Lyubov Barantseva; Project coordinator, Murmansk State Technical University
  • Vladimir Malyshev; Professor, Murmansk State Technical University
  • Vadim Ulanov; Project manager; Murmansk region Corporation of Development
  • Dmitriy Borovkov; Project manager, Murmansk regional demonstration and education center of energy saving and energy efficiency
  • Evgeny Mischenko, Director, Murmansk regional demonstration and education center of energy saving and energy efficiency
  • Arturs Dutka; Project manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
  • Raymond Riise; Associate professor, Narvik University College
  • Eigil Roaldset; Assistant professor, Narvik University College
  • Andrey Kazakov; Adviser, High North Center at University of Nordland

Acknowledgements

The project team acknowledges the financial support from the Norwegian Barents Secretariat (BS). This was very important to make the festival successful. We are also thankful for the contributions provided by Kolarctic ENPI, Kolarctic Norway and Nordland County through the projects Sustainable Buildings for the High North (SBHN) and Heat Pump Promotion in the Barents Region (HePuPro). We also would like to thank the Royal Norwegian Consulate in Murmansk for their kind support.

 

April, 2015

Professor Bjørn R Sørensen

Narvik University College

Norway

 

Download the Festival eBook here.