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Potential avenues of linking the energy efficiency and the sustainable economic development in the Balkan region

Ognjen Ridic, Jasmina Mangafic, Josip Nikolic, Azra Smjecanin

Abstract: The energy efficiency represents a global and multi-faceted issue. It is especially important in the former socialist countries belonging to the Balkan’s region being geographically located in the Southeastern Europe (SE). The research problem addressed in this paper focuses on the unexplored potential links between the energy efficiency and the economic development. Energy efficiency is deemed to be highly job intensive phenomenon. It delivers multiple long-range benefits by the means of increasing competitiveness, energy affordability, and decreasing energy bills. Furthermore, it seeks to tackle the important issues of reduced reliance on energy importing, reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions and freeing up of funds to be critically invested in other economic areas. Energy efficiency, efficient and effective policies have been found to be directly linked to job creation and deliverance of the economic stimulus. These types of jobs are related to the activities with the paramount aim in reduction of the energy consumption. Investments in energy efficiency in the buildings and construction sector have been found to have brought about the greatest macroeconomic impact. This impact is due to the increasing need for the construction of new buildings and renovation of existing ones, in addition to its considerable potential in activation of the above listed industries’ value chains. The introduction of energy management system (EMS) being exemplified through the set of processes which utilize data to maintain and enhance energy efficiency and operational efficiency could be one of the important avenues to pursue. On the other hand, the EMS reduces the energy intensity and detrimental environmental polluting impact.
Keywords: energy efficiency / greenhouse gas emissions / Europe / linking / buildings / job / intensity / potential

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