30th November 2021 – The path to net zero: Sustainable energy buildings
In the EU, buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy consumption and 36 per cent of CO₂ emissions, mainly due to a high stock of inefficient buildings, as well as a low renovation and new construction rate. With the introduction of the EU Green Deal, the EU has committed to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. This includes, among other things, significantly increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. A net zero energy building generates as much energy as it consumes, over the course of a year. No distinction is made between electrical and thermal energy. Electricity and heat are generated, for example, by photovoltaic or solar thermal systems and heat pumps attached directly to the building. However, an additional connection to the public energy grid is required when renewable energy generation cannot meet the building’s energy load, such as in winter. However, grey energy is not considered in the balance. Grey energy is the primary energy required for production, transport, sale, and disposal of the building materials used to construct the building.