Energy producing, storing and supplying buildings
In order to achieve this potential, the authors have identified ten key principles (see full list below). The first of these is to ensure that the buildings themselves use as little energy as possible. Indeed, the paper suggests that undertaking a deep energy reenovation of the existing building stock could reduce energy demand by up to 80% by 2050. Secondly, an increase in on-site or close by renewable energy production can also drive buildings towards a nearly zero-energy level. Technologies to be considered include heat pumps and solar panels, all of which are becoming mainstream. The paper also recommends stimulating a buildings capacity to store energy. Here, the paper focuses on technologies such as home battery systems, as well as thermal and hydrogen storage.
It is important to note that the building envelope itself can also play a role in energy storage. Taking concrete as an example, it has the unique ability to absorb heat during the day and release it at night, thus reducing dependence on heating and cooling. This effect is refered to as 'Thermal Mass'.
Ten key principles:
- Maximise the building’ energy efficiency first
- Increase onsite or nearby renewable energy production and self-consumption
- Stimulate energy storage capacities in buildings
- Incorporate demand response capacity in the building stock
- Decarbonise the heating and cooling energy for buildings
- Empower end-users via smart meters and controls
- Make dynamic price signals available for all consumers
- Foster business models aggregating micro energy hubs
- Build smart and interconnected districts
- Building infrastructure to drive further market uptake of electric vehicles.
More information: Report