EUKI project UPGREAT has been part of the fifth edition of the International Conference on Economic and Social Sciences (ICESS) and has published their scientific paper “Identification of Gaps and Barriers in Building Renovations through a Targeted Survey to Professionals of the Built Environment to Upgrade the Quality of Building Stock and Mitigate Climate Change” in the conference publication.

“It’s a huge volume of electricity generated on the roofs of people”


“It’s a huge volume of electricity generated on the roofs of people”

by GIZ/EUKI, Ada Ámon 

Ada Ámon leads the Department for Climate and Environmental Affairs of the City Hall in Budapest – which is also the implementer of the EUKI project Low-Carbon Investment in Budapest. According to Forbes Magazine (2015), Ada is one of the most influential women in Hungary. She was among the three winners of the Women in Energy prize awarded the first time in the framework of EU Sustainable Energy Week (2020). Recently, she and her EUKI project team created the first Solar Map for Budapest. The Solar Map is a web-based application, showing which part of the roof is suitable for solar energy and how much electricity it could generate. We met her at the EUKI conference 2022 to ask her some questions:  

Ada, what is your impression of the EUKI Networking Conference?

It’s a great thing to meet all these people who are working for the same cause in Central Eastern Europe. One problem that I have noticed, while being part of the broader community and not only EUKI community, is that we have been doing our own exercises parallel without knowing about the results, achievements, and ways of implementation of each other. Knowing more about each other would probably enhance our impact. If we can make our work more efficient by meeting each other and enhancing the exchange of experience and information, it will help a lot in making our efforts more impactful. So, the EUKI Conference serves for the benefit of the whole climate community, because most of the people here are working in climate action NGOs and everybody is benefiting from the NGO world. Municipalities as a facility also help a lot and give direct benefit to civil society. 

How do you think the energy crisis influences your country? How is Budapest/Hungary coping with the consequences?

Many CEE countries and especially the governments tend to keep people and households under the understanding that energy is infinite, and that the crisis will be over after a while. Hungary and the Hungarian people are under a huge pressure now because of this fake narrative, that the government can secure the energy for a long period of time at a very low price – which is obviously not true. Many of the Hungarians got addicted to wasting energy because of the price distortion that prevented them to be more conscious and more aware of their energy consumption. Now we are still living in houses with poor energy performance because people never spent money on insulating walls, replacing windows, and refurbishing their heating facilities and system. So, this is where we are right now, and everyone is trying to do their best to cope with this issue. Moreover, the EU money of the last term has been spent already but not necessarily in the direction of real climate measures.   

We heard about some great news: In your EUKI project, you created the first Solar Map for Budapest. Could you please tell us more about it? Also, what other measures did Hungary implement to reduce the energy dependency?

Indeed, I am very proud of the success of our solar map. With this, Budapest is following the example of Helsinki, Berlin and other European cities in informing citizens about the solar potential of their rooftops, the map consists of digital databased layers that were integrated, thus we could get to know of each single building’s potential of generating electricity from solar panels. We launched the website with the solar map last week and already over 80.000 people clicked on this application trying to figure out whether their roofs have potential and how they can gain from it.   

There is a huge solar boom in Hungary now which has its own good impact and effect. We already have about 3400 MW of solar capacity built in the system and integrated into the electricity network. 1/3 of it is coming from household-size solar systems. So, it’s a huge volume of electricity generated on the roofs of people and ideally, we would like to double this volume. Budapest has large roof-surfaces and we have assessed that the technical potential of Budapest is beyond 5000 MW. Technically speaking, it is possible to create and implement this capacity which would contribute to the security of supply and limit the reliance on outside sources. We launched a working group that is working on how to gain this electricity potential within the inner part of the city and what would be the best way of involving multi-apartment buildings into this work and.  

Technically speaking, it is possible to create and implement this capacity which would contribute to the security of supply and limit the reliance on outside sources.


How would you describe EUKI’s role in Hungary?

EUKI is an interesting financing and supporting facility because it falls into two major donor types: On one hand there are private foundations which are supporting some small endeavors, projects, and initiatives. On the other hand, there are the EU direct funding facilities like Horizon 2020, Interreg and LIFE. Compared to these initiatives, EUKI gives more space, and I don ‘t think that we would have found any better finance facility to support our project. EUKI has the right size coming with much less conditionalities than any other EU funding programme. We can concentrate on our own problems, solve them and the results of the project can provide input into other projects. We are already building upon the EUKI conference’s existing information, material, and results.   

EUKI is a unique opportunity for initiatives which are not fitting into the EU funding schemes but make a lot of sense in the countries. Also, knowing that Central Eastern Europe is lacking resources for this, EUKI is a very important instrument.  

Ada, thank you very much for the interview.

Find the Budapest solar map here.

The EDINA Project Summarised in 8 Videos

EDINA – Improving Energy Efficiency in Revitalisation

The EUKI-funded project EDINA promoted energy efficiency in Polish revitalisation areas by providing training to property managers and owners. At the final project stage, the EDINA project team shares its experience through 8 summarising videos.

This survey by EUKI project Climate Heros tracks the level of awareness and engagement of youth regarding matters related to wildlife preservation, climate change and sustainable development.


Climate Action Connecting Europe – EUKI E-Paper 2022

On the occasion of its 5th anniversary, the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) published an interactive e-paper. In words and figures, it illustrates the idea behind the EUKI and presents two of the 179 climate action projects financed so far. Quotes from Federal Minister Dr. Robert Habeck and the director of the Polish think tank Forum Energii, Joana Pandera, outline the political framework of the initiative. The clickable icons provide you with further information on the annual call for project ideas, the EUKI Academy and the 8 topics of the EUKI.

Enjoy reading the E-Paper

EUKI Interview: Mainstreaming Sustainable Buildings in Europe


EUKI Interview: Mainstreaming Sustainable Buildings in Europe

by GIZ/EUKI & Retrofit HUB

Buildings are not only essential for life – they are also very hard to decarbonise. Throughout the past years and climate action efforts not enough progress has been made in transforming the ways we build, renovate, retrofit and rebuild. Why is the buildings sector so problematic in terms of reducing greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions and what can be done to mainstream sustainable buildings in Europe? We spoke with project manager Aleksandar Jelovac, landscape architect Ana Šenhold and civil engineer Marko Markić from the EUKI projects Retrofit HUB and Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Heritage Buildings.

Retrofit HUB-Team: Aleksandar Jelovac, Ana Šenhold and Marko Markić

Retrofit HUB-Team: Aleksandar Jelovac, Ana Šenhold and Marko Markić, Photo: EUKI

The building sector accounts for 40% of the energy consumption and 36% of the ghg emissions in the European Union. Where do these stunning numbers come from?

Aleksandar: Usually most people think about the operational cost of using a building and all the energy first. This is what we call operational carbon. But there is also a sector of extracting resources from earth, producing materials, bringing them to the construction site, building them, deconstructing them. This is called embodied carbon which itself accounts for 11 to 12 % of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions and has been paid little attention to. We need to focus on both factors.

Why is the building sector such a problem child?

Ana: We have, in a way, two kinds of building stock: we have buildings that are old, and we have new buildings that are being built. Regarding new buildings it’s easy to create a law and decide that they need to be nearly zero energy buildings, or that they need to use this kind of heating or cooling system. But with the building stock that is already existing, it’s quite hard to just create laws that are going to make these things change. That’s challenging in Croatia, but accounts for the EU as well.

Marko: That’s true, and in all of Europe the issue is who is going to inhabit the new buildings? In Europe, the population is not growing. So why do we need new buildings at all? Retrofit and Renovation are solutions but at some point, you’ll have to ask feasibility questions. Does a renovation cost more than building a new building which has a better standard? What happens with historical and heritage buildings? This is tricky, but of course we are not going to destroy them. What we need are more and better feasibility studies to answer the question of when it is better to renovate or to build.

Thanks for the bigger picture! Which are the specific issues in your home country Croatia?

Marko: When it comes to public buildings in Croatia one specific issue is financing. There are always some kind of subsidy schemes, but if you wanted to invest in sustainable technologies and renovation like the ESCO model, the administrative part is very burdensome. Also, in Croatia multi-apartment buildings are not owned by just one person, like in other parts of Europe. In some buildings there are more than 100 apartment owners. So, you need the consensus of all parties involved. Another thing that we need to solve quickly is about building rules. There is no regulatory solution yet for putting renewable energy sources on the roof of multi-apartment buildings, but that needs to be done by the government and could be learned from other EU member countries.

Ana: And I think also, like in some other parts of Europe, in Croatia centralisation is a huge problem. Smaller, local areas become abandoned because of a lack of jobs and financial support. So, people are moving to the cities where new buildings are being built constantly. There is not enough focus on retrofit and renovation in rural areas.

What is the purpose of your EUKI project Retrofit Hub?

Aleksandar: The intention behind our project is to reach the goals of decarbonisation. First, we identify the biggest contributors, which in Croatia are the residential buildings. Then we work out a plan to support their specific decarbonisation. In a next step we approach the different stakeholders, like the residents, the facility managers, the ministries and so on, and involve them. This could mean to make more useful education available. Or to bring in more experts for technical solutions, for example to find renewable sources of energy or to install heat pumps. A big challenge is communication! Not only among the residents but also across ministries on a national level. One of the greatest advantages of our project is that with our events and trainings we can bring together all different stakeholders. And when they meet, they start talking, exchange ideas and fruitful collaborations come out of that. With this unfortunate situation in the Ukraine, we actually see an increasing interest in renovation, so we hope to pick up that dynamic.

Marko: Yes, if there is one thing that will move people towards renewables it will be energy independence!

“Our partners from Poland said it was really difficult to get in touch with the different stakeholders. At our first contact with facitlity managers in Croatia they fortunately sounded quite interested.”


As a by-product of the current energy crisis, the demand for heat pumps is exploding in Germany. Yet, there are simply not enough mechanics available who could install them. Do you see the same thing happening in Croatia?

Aleksandar: Yes, it’s the same in Croatia. There is a lack of working people, so the prices have gone up, too. But still, even if you’re a millionaire who could pay all the money now, you would still have to wait in line because the demand is incredibly high right now.

Marko: I do believe this is only temporary and will level up at some point. But heat pumps also need electricity. So, we want to have sustainable heat pumps connected to renewable energy sources. A good example is Zagreb where they have regional central heating, which is even better than heat pumps. To install heat pumps in existing multi apartment buildings in Croatia is probably impossible. For those buildings with individual heating systems, like boilers connected to a chimney, heat pumps are probably the only solution. But that’s also only true when talking about highly urbanised and dense regions. Where we don’t have the possibility to get heat out of the ground, we try to move the energy sources on the roofs.

Thanks for your answers! The last question is a thought experiment: We are living in the year 2050, the EU is climate-neutral and the buildings sector successfully decarbonised. What happened?

Aleksandar: That’s a very beautiful yet complex question. Everybody’s vocal point shifted towards asking the right questions. The views of the European Commission and the targets of the European Green Deal have become hardcore mainstream. Fossil fuel companies have run out of business and are shifting their focus on green and sustainable topics. Everyone is communicating much more, really working hand in hand and harder towards these goals. Everyone is thinking in terms of solutions and generating new ideas all along. People with good ideas are being heard, seen and supported so that ideas are implemented in new impactful projects quickly.

Ana: Plus, everyone is supporting each other and making the best contribution nationally, on a European level and internationally. This is important because different countries and societies don’t have the same abilities to work towards these goals in the same way.

Aleksandar: Agreed! Wealthier countries certainly bear a bigger responsibility, but in the end, we are all in this together. So, let’s hope that in 2050 we will all sit together again and reflect on 2022, this conversation and what happened in the years in between to reach climate-neutrality.

That’s a wonderful perspective and an optimistic closing for the interview. Thank you very much for this interesting conversation.

“As soon as we start thinking in solutions, the solutions will appear on the horizon.”


Revitalisation Academy – Web Seminar Series: Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Districts, Cities and Funding Issues – Summary by Edina Project

EDINA – Improving Energy Efficiency in Revitalisation

The EDINA project team organised a Spring Webinar session on energy efficiency „Revitalisation Academy – energy efficiency of buildings, districts, cities and funding issues (Web Seminar Series)” to approach EU goals for climate neutrality.

This handbook inspires residents to create solutions for more livable city centers.

Mapping Solar Potential in Pilot Municipalities

Mapping Solar Potential in Pilot Municipalities

This report of the EUKI project Solar Adria describes different models and methodologies for solar potential mapping. One of the goals of the project is potential replicability of its approach in other municipalities of the Adriatic region. Therefore, Solar Adria summarised the described methodology in several steps to guide the interested municipalities through the process of solar potential map development.

Mapping Solar Potential in Pilot Municipalities

Solar Adria

Feasibility Studies for Installing Photovoltaic Power Plants on Municipality Buildings

Feasibility Studies for Installing Photovoltaic Power Plants on Municipality Buildings

EUKI project Solar Adria accelerates solar power development in Adriatic municipalities. The objectives of the project are to explore on a municipal level how stakeholders perceive and contribute to energy transition through solar development. Solar Adria provides solar potential maps for target municipalities and creates a matchmaking platform to connect any interested investors with the municipality administration and other target groups.

The project co-develops two solar projects, one in each pilot municipality, by providing technical and economic information. Implementing organisation Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) performed four feasibility studies for photovoltaic power plants in Starigrad in Croatia and Koper in Slovenia.

Feasibility Study Starigrad Opcina
Feasibility Study Starigrad Vrtic
Feasibility Study Koper Burja
Feasibility Study Koper Bertoki

Solar Adria