For countries in the Med region like Spain and Italy the use of Structural Funds, despite proposals of the Commission for efficiency and renewables, is not to be taken for granted that progress is in store. There is a need for a real re-thinking of the strategy in light of all the economic problems.
A lack of a secure framework and also doubts about the possibility to use the funds due to budget deficit limits and the grey area of compliance with European Legislation such as the EPBD. Systems like the Jessica EIB funding scheme could be used to overcome the problem of budget deficit limits but are not yet in place.
Also in the technical field there is a risk to encourage an over-engineering (also in terms of up-front costs) by emphasizing the Passivhaus standard and some related- technologies such as the mechanical ventilation and the strong envelope insulation and to miss an opportunity for Med regions to build low energy homes more in line with their climatic and citizens lifestyles specificities. Summer comfort and the energy consumption for cooling should be considered key issues in the EPB-regulation transposition to pave the way for the implementation of nearly Zero Energy homes in the Southern Europe.
These are the issues that are being looked into by the Nearly Zero Med Taskforce. They began their work by linking up with existing initiatives such as IRH-MED, ELHIMED, MARIE, RELS and MEDBEE. The MARIE and RELS projects were presented at the Med Taskforce meeting in Madrid. POWER HOUSE Representatives spoke at the ELHIMED conference and attended the MEDBEE forum in Brussels.
Some additional partners from Greece, Cyprus, South of France, Malta and Portugal have linked up with the nZEC consortium. This will broaden the geographical coverage to the whole MED region.