Re-imaging the financing schemes for sustainability in the built environment

The challenges and unfortunate existing global situations are undeniable. But the beauty is that we grew up and learnt lessons from our mistakes. In the recent past, energy accessibility, equity, reliability, security, and sustainability have been a personal problem for each individual. The post-pandemic economic shocks and recovery have bound every citizen to re-imagine the cost and source of energy they pay for, if it is accessible. Pandemic recovery might be the most transitioning and alarming period in the history of energy. The good news is that we are now more prepared than ever before for a just energy transition, an essential ingredient for global peace and security. Amidst a warming globe, finances must not be the reason to stay behind!

Innovative financing entails using unconventional approaches to generate extra funds for development aid via inventive schemes like micro-contributions, taxes, public-private partnerships, and market-driven financial transactions. At the start of 2010, the majority of these innovative financing models were geared towards supporting healthcare initiatives in developing nations. Now, it is high time we used these models for the energy transition.

In an attempt to humanise energy, I am trying to develop a nexus between operational energy demand practices, internal environmental conditions in buildings, people occupying buildings, materials, and technology used in the retrofit of buildings. My research aims to extend Energy Performance Contracting (an example of innovative financing mechanisms) to include performance metrics for Internal Environment Conditions (IEC). Considering performance criteria for energy consumption, GHG emissions associated with energy consumption, indoor temperature (and/or thermal conditions), indoor carbon dioxide, humidity, and other measurable parameters for a healthy and comfortable indoor setting. Not only does it help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, but it also helps homeowners save money on their energy bills and improve the comfort of their homes.

As a World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leader, I am honoured to be part of the ongoing energy transition and efforts to humanise energy. As very well said by Dr Angela Wilkinson: “Energy is essentially a story about humanity; it’s more than a sector; it’s the ultimate connector of our fears and our hopes of people and geographies across the world.”

I invite you to join me on the #RoadtoCongress to the 26th World Energy Congress, on 22-25 April 2024 in Rotterdam, to make a yummy energetic lemonade from all the lemons (challenges) of the past couple of decades that humanity continues to face and progress on.

Lala Rukh

Future Energy Leader, World Energy Council

Doctoral Researcher, MaREI- the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation

portrait image of Charlot Magayi

"As an energy entrepreneur from Nairobi, I'm looking forward to seeing how the World Energy Congress promotes better energy for communities in Africa and to being inspired by how others are tackling the global challenge of modern energy access for all."

Charlot Magayi

Founder and CEO, Mukuru Clean Stoves

portrait image of Ben Hutt

"Three major world crisis - covid, climate and conflict - have revealed the importance and fragility of energy systems. They have reminded us that we must manage the energy trilemma of security, affordability, and sustainability to avoid new shocks and crises."

Ben Hutt

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Evergen

Portrait image of Gaia Vince

"As we enter the age of the Anthropocene, our human footprint deepens, and we are changing the world as never before. I'm looking forward to conversations about energy for both people and planet at the 26th World Energy Congress, as we prepare for a fundamental shift in how we live."

Gaia Vince

Journalist, Broadcaster and Author

Portrait image of Dr Leonard Birnbaum

"Few events can boast of bringing together such diverse energy leadership and the perspectives of so many different sectors under one roof. I look forward to reconnecting with my peers at the 26th World Energy Congress."

Dr. Leonhard Birnbaum

CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management, E.ON

Portrait image of Rafael Mateo

"We know that new zero is not enough and at ACCIONA we have a planet-positive strategy and the provision of renewable energy is at the heart of regeneration. It's a privilege to be part of the 26th World Energy Congress and its vision to redesign energy for people and the planet"

Rafael Mateo

Chief Executive Officer, ACCIONA EnergÍa