EnergyVision 2030 – Phase 1 Completion
Imagine the future of Liechtenstein, where the country is climate neutral and energy self-sufficient through renewable electricity production. Where the citizen uses the self-produced electricity for heating, mobility and work, and provides the surplus energy to the neighbour. Where not the exploitation of the environment, but life in harmony with nature, form the basis for a prosperous society.
For far too long, humanity has disregarded the very basis of its existence. Nothing demonstrates this better than energy production and the man-made global warming that accompanies it. By burning fossil fuels, we contribute significantly to the pollution of our environment and to climate change. We propose to change our energy production and consumption in a way that ensures a future for the next generations. This contributes not only to the good of the environment but also to the good of Liechtenstein as a business location and its inhabitants.
As the latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report points out, climate change will happen much faster, more widespread and more severely than previously thought. It is therefore essential to take immediate, ambitious and sustainable action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Otherwise, we will endanger our own livelihood: the Earth's ecosystem.
In order to achieve these goals and make Liechtenstein an attractive place to live in the future, the Principality of Liechtenstein and its municipalities have signed various agreements with concrete goals to combat the climate crisis, thus laying the foundation for a sustainable future. Specifically, these include the Paris Climate Agreement (net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050), the Energy Charter of the 2000-Watt Society (zero greenhouse gas emissions, 100% renewable energy, 2000 watts of primary energy continuous output), as well as the goals developed by the country and the municipalities themselves.
According to the Liechtenstein Office of Statistics, neither greenhouse gas emissions nor the share of domestic renewable energy in total energy consumption is on target. In 2020, emissions should have been 20% lower than in 1990, but only a 16% reduction was achieved. In order to reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050, immediate and drastic measures must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Similar figures are found for the share of domestic renewable energy, which should have accounted for 20% of total energy consumption by 2020, but has only reached 13%. Here, too, the municipalities have committed themselves to a share of 100% renewable energy by 2050 by signing the Energy Charter of the 2000-Watt Society. A goal that will soon be unattainable without immediate action.
The greenhouse gas emissions caused in Liechtenstein are divided into the following areas.
- 32% transport
- 24% buildings
- 24% industry
- 19% agriculture
It makes sense to start in the areas where innovations can be easily implemented and the transition to renewable energy production can proceed quickly. The construction of infrastructure should be avoided if possible and costs should be kept low. Solutions are already available in all of the above areas. Electromobility, combined with renewable energy sources, is an efficient and economical option to turn the earth's ecological situation in a different direction while achieving financial savings. Heating buildings with the help of heat pumps and solar power from one's own roof also enables a large reduction in emissions and costs. Solutions are also available in the industrial and agricultural sectors.
The sluggish implementation of suitable measures testifies to the lack of capacity and time of the municipalities and the country for the realization of their own goals. For this reason, Integrity.Earth's EnergyVision 2030 was created, as a networking project with the intention of minimizing our energy consumption and taking a step towards energy self-sufficiency. EnergyVision 2030 exists for each community area. Synergies can be exploited through the commonalities of the municipalities. Up to 80% of the municipal energy landscape in Liechtenstein, both production and consumption side, and also their energy policy as energy cities, are very similar and can be addressed together.
The challenge is to increase energy efficiency in all sectors, manage energy consumption intelligently and expand energy production in a sustainable and renewable way.
Energy production and management are key to success. Sustainable construction, electricity production with photovoltaics, heating with heat pumps and the mobility shift towards electric cars - in conjunction with education - are the pillars of our vision. Ecology and economy are to be brought back into harmony with a sustainable circular economy.
The implementation takes place in three phases: Phase 1 includes the strategy development and the structuring of the network, in phase 2 the measures are implemented, and then in phase 3 the operation is initiated and expanded. Discussions with many communities across the country further confirm the need for independent support in the transition to renewable energy sources.
When the EnergyVision 2030 project started in January 2022 with Phase 1, the energy landscape looked the same in numbers as it does today (September 2022), but the issue of climate and especially energy has been vehemently debated since the war in Ukraine. A wave has really broken out and many people worldwide, in Europe and also in Liechtenstein, face the topic differently than they did a year ago.
EnergyVision 2030 is now supported ideally and financially by 8 partner municipalities of Liechtenstein. More than 25 pilot projects from different building categories, as well as new and existing buildings, could be started and partly already completed.