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Greater Energy Efficiency for Athens Buildings

News report

Greater Energy Efficiency for Athens Buildings

EUKI’s YESclima project held a workshop in mid-September on “Energy efficiency in buildings and natural techniques to cool/heat buildings”. One topic at this workshop was a presentation of the results ofenergy audits, conducted by students trained in the project.

The Greek organisation Wind of Renewal hosted this event. They invited the project partners – the University of Cadiz, the Energy Agency of Cadiz, the Free University of Berlin and the Secretariat for Future Studies – to the Welcommon Hostel in Athens. Representatives of other organisations such as the Center for Renewable Energy Sources & Saving (CRES), the Hellenic Passive House Institute and the Mayor of Agios Dimitrios also took part in the event.

Presentation during the YESclima Conference

The participants exchanged on the opportunities and challenges of energetic refurbishment of public buildings. Photo: YESclima

At the conference, eight students from Greece and Spain presented the results of energy audits at schools and other buildings in the regions of Cadiz (Spain) and Attica (Greece). The students had developed proposals for energy saving measures. These primarily focus on natural cooling and heating techniques and a change in the attitude of those who use the buildings. The students used energy bills to analyse the current situation in the buildings. They also reported on a study trip to Berlin at the end of August where they found out about natural technologies on cooling and heating in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Young people build house from straw bales

During a study trip to Berlin, the students built houses from straw bales, clay and wood. Photo: YESclima

The many experts present shared ideas about the opportunities and challenges of the work required to upgrade the energy performance of public buildings. “The difficulties are massive but the benefits are even greater,” commented Evi Tzanakaki from the CRES Centre. Stefanos Pallantzas from the Hellenic Passive House Institute added that action was needed quickly.

For example, George Drallos, a Board member of EBHE, the Greek Solar Industry Association, presented specific concepts. He emphasised: “Greece is the first country in Europe that has established significant production of thermal solar collectors and storage units.” However, energy efficiency also depends on how people use the buildings, commented Konstantinos Karampourniotis, Co-President of Living Prospects: “You make a difference if you change your user behaviour.”

More events for the project will be taking place in the next few weeks. YESclima, a project of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI), promotes greater energy efficiency in public buildings in Greece and Spain and particularly highlights the possible positive effects for the labour market.


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ZEWKlima – Future Opportunities in Energy Transition in Southern Europe

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The project partners study whether and how employment opportunities in the field of climate action and energy transition can be improved in regions with high levels of youth unemployment.


The core of the project is a study being carried out in the Spanish province of Cádiz and the Greek capital Athens, where youth unemployment is unusually high and many skilled workers with relevant training cannot find employment. The study examines the employment potential created by energy transition activities in the two regions.

Many municipal buildings in Cádiz and Athens have an unfavourable energy balance and are urgently in need of renovation – however, there is often a lack of qualified personnel to carry out these economically-profitable refurbishments. Many municipalities could also benefit from the expansion of solar energy, although this field also suffers from a lack of skilled labour.

The project partners search for synergy effects between the job seekers and the municipal need for expertise in the field of climate action, recording the needs and the supply in the respective regions and making proposals based on the information collected. Municipalities and job seekers alike should benefit from targeted offers of further training. The study examines the feasibility of such projects.

Possible areas of application for young experts include energy audits in schools, which are often overheated in summer and undercooled in winter. The climate, the school children, the municipality and the energy auditors will all benefit from meaningful and sustainable renovations. The energy auditors can gain practical experience at the same time, making them better prepared for the future labour market.

Mann läuft am Strand von Cadiz. Im Hintergrund die Kathedrale.

The region Cádiz suffers of high unemployment while, at the same time, skilled workers are needed. Photo:


The reason for the study is high and persistent youth unemployment, especially in regions that are particularly affected by the climate crisis. A climate-friendly energy transition is urgently called for in such areas – and the prospects are particularly promising given the geographical and climatic conditions.

Project information

Updated: June 2019

Countries: Germany, Greece, Spain

Project duration: 11/17 - 02/18

Funding: -

Target groups: Cities, towns and municipalities, Educational institutions, Governments, NGOs, Regional governments

Implementing organisation:
HTW Berlin

Project Partners:
Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal, Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung Berlin (SfZ), University of Cádiz (UCA)

Project Website:

Contact Person

Mr Hartwig Berger

Organisation: Sekretariat für Zukunftsforschung

Weimarer Straße 31
10625 Berlin


Tel: +49 30 3131730


The European Climate Initiative (EUKI):

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on the EUKI:

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The objective of the YESclima project is to train young energy experts to carry out energy audits in primary schools and to provide advice to the municipalities involved in the project. With their practice and additional training, the project goal is to increase their chances of working while at the same time contributing to reducing emissions from heating and cooling in public buildings.