Participants at today’s Franco-German Energy Efficiency Business Forum, held at the French Ecology Ministry in Paris, were told that the €110 million plant in France can produce 110,000 tonnes of Rock Mineral Wool insulation every year — enough to renovate 25,000 homes annually.
Yann Ditsch, Managing Director for Knauf Insulation France, told the high-level meeting: “Across the European Union, and in France and Germany particularly, energy efficiency is becoming a priority and Knauf Insulation is here to help. We have the resources, the expertise, the capacity and the products to make ambitious energy efficiency and climate targets a reality.”
A couple of weeks ago the German climate cabinet approved measures to cut national greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of the 1990 level by 2030 — with building energy-use as a key consideration — while France is committed to renovate 500,000 homes every year to tackle fuel poverty, slash energy use and reduce the country's carbon footprint. Both countries can provide international inspiration.
Renovation tackles fuel poverty
Yann said: “In France buildings represent 27% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and account for 45% of national energy use. Not only will the French renovation programme reduce these percentages, but it will significantly help the 2.5 million households who are living in fuel poverty and find it challenging to heat their homes.”
France is accelerating renovation through nationwide regulation and financial incentives which is also driving major economic growth by creating new businesses and jobs, said Yann.
“Knauf Insulation opened its first plant in France 10 years ago in Lannemezan, now we have just opened our second in Illange employing 120 people directly and 300 indirectly as well as contributing an estimated €20 million a year to the Moselle region,” he said.
Renovation drives economic growth
“France’s ambitious renovation plan has largely led to our investment decisions in Illange. I am sure many hundreds of other companies are also creating new jobs and contributing to economic growth. By some estimates more than 125,000 new jobs will be created by 2025 as a result.”
• The aim of the Franco-German Energy Efficiency Business Forum is to exchange best practices in policymaking and strengthen dialogue between European energy efficiency businesses and the governments of France and Germany.
Knauf Insulation is a board member of the two organising associations: the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-level) and the DENEFF (German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency).