Book Review: Bertoldi, Boza-Kiss, Rezessy (2007)

January 31, 2008

Bertoldi, P., Boza-Kiss, B. & Rezessy, S. (2007). Latest Development of Energy Service Companies across Europe: A European ESCO update. EUR 22927 EN-2007. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

This new report updates the authors' previous work in mapping out the European Energy Service Companies (ESCO) industry and understanding opportunities and obstacles to its development. ESCOs are organizations that deliver energy services or other energy efficiency improvements in users' facilities while bearing part of the financial risk involved in these measures. According to the report, ESCOs have a long history in Europe, even though they only became popular when reintroduced from the US. The European market potential has been estimated as 5-10 billion EUR per annum. The report shows how local context plays a role in the demand for ESCO services. For example, due to varying local framework conditions, the ESCO market has grown hugely in some countries (e.g. Sweden, Czech Republic) during the current decade, whereas in others there is a successful energy efficiency market without significant ESCO contribution (Denmark, the Netherlands, Lithuania).

This detailed and thorough report provides an up-to-date overview of the ESCO industry and examines its development in the local context of each of the EU-27 countries. At the same, it underlines one of the key arguments of the Changing Behaviour project: lessons can be learned from other countries, but local context matters, too.