Huge potential for energy savings lies in the renovation of the existing building stock. It is a prerequisite that these buildings are renovated “deeply” for the building sector to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and meet global energy reduction objectives. The new “Fit for 55” package aims to put the EU on track towards climate neutrality. Energy accounts for 75% of GHG emissions and the building stock of EU Member states about 43% of energy consumption.
Deep renovation can be defined as those renovations that complies with the national standard and normative of a specific country; deep renovations could also be defined as a minimum percentage of energy savings; Non-renewable energy savings above 60%. Oher definitions are related to NZEBs standards.
According to the analysis about different definitions of deep renovation in seven European members states, QualdeEPC partners did elaborate the next approach and considered as deep energy renovation:
It is relevant to know that if the target is energy savings above 60% (primary energy savings) this could be reached with renovation of the whole building, and this may involve a high investment, not affordable by most European families.
It is advisable a deep energy renovation step by step, example every 3-4 years one investment (1.- Windows replacement; 2.- improving walls; 3 replacing heating and cooling systems; a road map of recommendations for reducing the energy consumption of the building or household can be elaborated with a estimated budget of each step and achieving closing NZEBs standards after several years.
In Europe there are more than 256,000 million buildings and 75% are of residential use. Households energy consumption is mainly for space heating 67% and water heating 13%; electrical appliances consume 11% and cooking 6% of the energy
The European Green Deal took a step further by setting the vision for a fair and prosperous society and make Europe carbon free by 2050. It includes a series of initiatives that have a direct impact on the EU policy on energy efficiency and on renewable energy, in particular a plan to increase the EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction for 2030 towards 55% compared to 1990 in a responsible way.
In the Climate Target Plan 2030 presented on 17 September 2020, the Commission has proposed to cut net greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. The ambitious climate agenda of the current Commission provides a clear role for energy efficiency. However, without a significant contribution from the buildings sector, the new energy and environmental goals will not be met. The building sector is one of the areas where efforts must be ramped up.
We are just beginning to rebuild Europe after a period of unprecedented economic, social and personal turmoil. There has never been a better time to rethink and renovate the buildings that shelter us. Creating a renovation wave in Europe now is key to any economic recovery and will be central to getting the EU back on its feet.
Presenting proposals for a Recovery Package in 2021 and revised EU budget to address the immediate economic and social damage brought by coronavirus, the European Commission said this was Europe’s moment. EU spending must be rethought in order to “repair and prepare for the next generation,” the Commission said.
This is the mindset we need for the coming weeks, months and years. Repair and prepare. Renovate. Make buildings fit for the future and the challenges it will hold including climate change and energy poverty, along with the need for a healthy indoor environment, made only too clear by the long days spent at home to reduce the spread of the virus.
The Commission state that investing in a large-scale renovation wave “has enormous potential to get Europe’s economy growing,” as part of the economic recovery package. Renovating buildings has the potential to positively impact every EU inhabitant and business. It supports local jobs and develops competitive EU business practices. Buildings including hospitals, schools, and houses, which have been pushed to the front of our minds by recent events, all need to be built or renovated to the highest energy-efficiency, health and comfort standards.
Deep renovation can steer Europe towards a more sustainable and resilient economy. Introducing minimum energy performance standards is needed to help the EU hit both a renovation target of 3 percent per year while, at the same time, delivering its 2050 Climate Neutrality target.
This means setting milestones for different sectors of the existing building stock, in order to encourage market players and investors to support a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050. At the same time, on specific measures for the sectors where demand can be increased more quickly, such as public buildings – and in particular hospitals, schools and affordable housing.