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Energy renovations: market needs at the centre of EU funded projects’ solutions

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Within the framework of the achievement of both 2030 energy efficiency targets and the 2050 EU building stock decarbonisation goal, the pressure put on the shoulders of the actors involved in the energy renovation value chain is undeniably high.

 

And while many EU funded projects aim at the same goal, namely bridging the gap between the supply and demand in the energy retrofit market, how market-responsive are they?
 

This question has been addressed during a Session co-organised by UIPI, called “Scaling up deep energy retrofit markets towards 2030 targets”, during the European Sustainable Energy Week’s Policy Conference.

 

The session hosted seven EU funded projects dealing with deep energy renovation, and a panel comprising of different stakeholders and policy makers.

 

The aim of the discussion was to trigger debate between the supply and the demand side of the energy retrofit market, in order to profile innovative and more market-oriented solutions.

 

Throughout the discussion, it has been reiterated more than once that, despite the large number of projects aiming at the same goal (namely facilitating energy renovation processes), level of stakeholders’ engagement needs to be speeded up.
 

Among the panellists, the stakeholder side was represented by architects and property owners. Both Ms Veronika Schröpfer, Project Officer at the Architects Council of Europe and Ms Emmanuelle Causse, Director at the International Union of Property Owners claimed that more awareness campaigns have to be designed in order to address differently each and every segment of the value chain (in particular homeowners and landlords), in order to accelerate deep energy renovation.

 

Also, taking into account the needs stemming from the investors’ side is fundamental to enable EU funded projects to design better solutions, and thus enhancing their attractiveness and competitiveness prior market launch.

 

As appointed by Ms Emmanuelle Causse: “Solutions need to adapt to the market. It is not up to the market to adapt to the solutions.”
 

This is for example what RenoZEB tries to achieve. RenoZEB intends to provide a good “fit-for-market” solution by bridging the gap between investors’ costs and benefits. As its Project Coordinator Mr Michele Vavallo said:
 

“RenoZEB enables owners to compare their budget with the characteristics of the building. This will find the best solutions for owners and follow them along the renovation process".
 

RenoZEB also tries to solve other issues raised along the debate, as for example the lack of skilled professionals and the scarce cooperation along the value chain.

 

In this regard, this project will design ad hoc trainings for nZEB market professionals, and implement new collaborative multi-value/multi-stakeholder methodologies for selecting the best energy retrofit strategies according to the case.

 

Along with these last issues, many others have been raised during the debate, which were related to costs, risks and life expectancy of new materials implied in energy renovation strategies.
 

In conclusion, as Policy Officer at DG ENER (European Commission) Nora Bednarski stated: “the real challenge is for us to keep up with the momentum in achieving high levels of energy reduction”.

 

From this last statement, along with the abovementioned debate takeaways, it seems clear that EU funded projects have to put their money where their mouth is.

 

Investing in tools to spread knowledge, and establishing a satisfactory information flow and cooperation between the supply and demand coming from the energy retrofit market is the way to unlock private investment and thus favouring its uptake, while making the energy transition practically feasible.
 

About RenoZEB
 

RenoZEB is a EU funded project under Horizon 2020, and it focuses on creating a market for nearly Zero Energy Buildings lowering down the costs of retrofitting and limiting disruption by proposing systemic and cost-effective “plug and play” solutions for retrofitting buildings and thereby increasing property values.

 

The project will show and ensure the replicability of the schemes and technical tools across the EU and beyond the project’s timeframe. By using innovative “plug and play” solutions, RenoZEB aims at minimise renovation disruptacy for building occupiers, while providing a significant energy efficiency upgrade.

 

Post-renovation, buildings will not only have a “fresh look” but will also have a considerably higher energy efficiency, smart control, monitoring systems and an increased property value.

 

RenoZEB will also contribute to provide trainings and raise awareness of the value chain to boost the nZEB market in Europe.
 

More information can be found on RenoZEB website (click here)