CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION IN CONSTRUCTION
Since the beginning of their existence, humans have always sought to harness natural resources. To do so, for centuries, they created technologies to help them make use of these resources. Clean energy transition refers to the shift towards a sustainable economy centered on the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. Transportation and construction are the two main causes of energy consumption in the world. What can be done to change this?
To give us an idea, seventy percent of the world’s carbon emissions are produced by cities. Buildings are responsible for thirty percent of overall energy consumption and twenty-eight percent of CO2 emissions.
Because of this, clean energy transition for construction is not a choice. It’s an obligation.
«The construction sector is now at a time when many laws and regulations will considerably influence the future, mainly due to our country’s commitment to achieve a low-carbon economy», assures the president of ATECYR, Miguel Ángel Llopis.
Legislation on clean energy transition
Currently, updates are being made to CTE DB HE and RITE, Energy Certification of Buildings, Safety of Refrigerator Installations, implementations of Energy Efficiency Directives, which will mean auditing and implementing energy management systems, Energy Efficiency in Buildings Directive, which will mean knowing the energy efficiency of a building and its level of intelligence, and the Renewable Energy Directive, which will incorporate renewable energies into the data for heating and refrigeration systems.
Let’s remember that there are three main objectives for climate and energy in Europe for 2030:
- at least 40 % reduction of greenhouse gases (compared to 1990)
- at least 27 % share of renewable energy
- at least 27 % improvement in energy efficiency
Reduction of energy demand in buildings
The reduction of energy demand in buildings is the most effective strategy for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. «At the moment, we have efficient solutions that allow us to construct new buildings with nearly zero energy consumption parameters and can even modernize existing ones to reduce energy consumption between 50 and 90 percent. No other sector has the capacity to make this change towards a model that is sustainable and respectful towards the environment through existing and proven technology», explains Pedro Luis Fernández-Cano, Business Unit Director of ROCKWOOL Peninsular, at Profesionales Hoy.
Approximately ninety-seven percent of the European Union’s housing stock –more than thirty billion square meters– is considered insufficient from an energy perspective. «The rehabilitation of 350,000 homes per year until 2050 is necessary to achieve the environmental objectives that Spain is required to reach. This is an intervention that must be taken on ambitiously and profoundly, adapting buildings so they consume nearly zero energy, with the priority of improving thermal enclosure and incorporating power generation from renewable sources », affirms Albert Grau, Public Affairs Officer of ROCKWOOL Peninsular.
Nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB)
It is important to note that the new planning and building regulations not only consider the characteristics of the buildings but also their energy efficiency conditions. Specifically, they’re looking for what is known as Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB). Buildings that manage energy and integrate self-sufficiency and renewable energyin calculating energy efficiency, the installation of charging points for electric cars and intelligent applications to actively manage energy demand.
The nZEB building is that which does not go over the established limit for primary energy consumption. This limit is fixed according to the climate zone and the use of the building, according to Development. Primary energy refers to the amount of energy that is used from the time it is taken from nature until it is used in the building.
AYMA is a signatory to the Global Compact, a UN initiative for sustainability in the private sector. If you need advisory services regarding energy transition, our specialists can help you.