Energy Poverty – A Multidimensional Global Phenomenon
by Alice Corovessi, Managing Partner at INZEB
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 PM (EDT)
The phenomenon of energy poverty and the resolution of the problems induced by it on modern society constitute a challenge on global scale. Energy poverty is a pressing problem affected by the complicated interaction of multiple factors – the increase of energy prices, people’s inability to pay their energy bills, flat or failing income, high levels of unemployment and the slow pace at which implementation of energy-efficient measures in residencies is taking place. The evidence-based, adverse effects of the aforementioned interaction are felt on social, environmental, and financial levels. The way to tackle the problem has yet to be paved.
In developing countries, energy poverty is primarily experienced as lack of access to basic energy services. According to estimates published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), more than 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity and consequently lack access to services and provisions that the rest of the population take for granted. According to the United Nations statistics, another important aspect of the problem is that 1 billion people have access to energy services and provisions albeit unreliable. The fact that approximately 20% of the global population is deprived of access to electricity reflects the prevalence of energy poverty on global scale as well as the magnitude of the problems stemming from this predicament.
Across developed countries, among which Member States of the European Union, the concept of energy poverty is perceived differently. In these countries energy poverty mainly suggests permanent or temporary inability to access energy services and provisions. It is estimated that more than 50 million households in the E.U, equating 10% of the population, struggle with the phenomenon and its implications according to the European Union’s Energy Poverty Observatory (EPOV).
The presentation aims to raise awareness in regard to energy poverty, to analyse the terms energy poverty and energy vulnerability, to discuss the different factors that result to the increase of energy poverty levels in different regions and present initiatives aiming to support households and the society in mitigation of the social problem.
Alice Corovessi is the Managing Partner of INZEB, a civil non-profit organisation based in Greece, since 2014. Her professional career started in the fields of tourism and real estate while since 2009 she is actively involved in the promotion of energy efficiency and sustainability in the building sector and the build environment. Her primary focus is the development of communication, dissemination and exploitation strategies for energy efficiency and sustainability projects while her personal interest is on the social aspects of energy, i.e., energy poverty and vulnerability, energy democracy and justice for which she has organised various advocacy campaigns. She is actively involved in various projects funded by the European Commission as senior expert, namely the POWERPOOR project aiming to develop support programmes / schemes for energy poor citizens and encourage the use of alternative financing schemes e.g., establishing energy communities/cooperatives, crowd funding), the SMAFIN project which aims to set up a prosperous ground to connect smart financing with energy efficient projects in the Balkans, the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network project aiming to act as a catalyst and element of coordination for the development of cooperation on clean energy, including the related policy and technology aspects among various stakeholders in the EU and GCC countries.
She has co-authored two books focused on energy poverty mitigation. Alice has a BA in Marketing and Business studies, she is enrolled in the European Culture and Civilisation Masters programme of the Hellenic Open University while she is fluent in English, German and Serbian and beginner in Arabic language.