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People on average spend 90% of their time in buildings, be it at home, at work or using public services like schools and hospitals. That explains why such a large portion of energy demand is soaked up by buildings and why such a huge chunk of emissions are produced by them. To decarbonise our edifices, several policies have to work harmoniously together, including but not limited to, energy efficiency standards, building codes, renewable energy rules, construction best practices and clean mobility targets. It is not an easy challenge to face but an all-important one if the energy transition is to be realised.
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In this first episode of Policy Dispatch, we take a deep dive into buildings and the need to accelerate their decarbonisation, with Member of the European Parliament Ciarán Cuffe
The European Union wants to reduce reliance on Russian energy imports. For this to work, a pan-EU Taskforce with the sole purpose of improving energy efficiency in buildings must be established, says Adrian Joyce of Renovate Europe
Placing decarbonisation of buildings on the international agenda means heat pumps can finally have their moment in the spotlight, says Richard Lowes of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Green hydrogen is considered to be an energy carrier of the future, but many people are not aware that it can also be used to heat buildings. As a complementary fuel, hydrogen can be truly efficient, economical and sustainable all at the same time. Plus, when used to store surplus clean energy, hydrogen can also help balance the electricity grid—a major challenge when leveraging renewables, says Henning Sandfort of Siemens Smart Infrastructure
Europe’s search for alternative gas supplies fails to recognise what this energy crisis really is: a fossil fuels crisis. Investing in costly, stranded fossil-fuel assets is the exact opposite of our way out of the multifaceted emergency we are in, says Eva Brardinelli at Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe)
Adaptation and mitigation efforts are mutually reinforcing. A cohesive policy effort to improve Europe’s buildings and urban spaces is becoming increasingly vital, says Oliver Rapf of Buildings Performance Institute Europe
By using the wrong metrics, the European Union is locking in inefficient ways of space heating. Changing the definitions of renewable heat may help support low-carbon alternative technologies, says Duncan Gibb from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Citizens across Europe are concerned about their heating bills as a result of the energy price crisis, but sustainable heating and cooling do not yet receive much attention in the EU’s agenda
Carbon prices at sufficiently high levels can push firms to internalise the costs of greenhouse gas emissions while providing a long-term price signal to drive investments needed for decarbonisation. Emission trading systems and carbon taxes feature in a growing number of climate strategies, but even the most well-designed instruments must be accompanied by other policy measures if emissions reductions goals are to be reached
Entering the audio sphere in 2022, FORESIGHT Climate & Energy's podcasts have given our listeners a chance to hear directly from key personalities in the energy sector and discuss how to achieve a decarbonised economy in the most expedient way. Take a listen to our top episodes from 2022
A country with significant renewables potential and one of the fastest-growing heat pump markets worldwide, Poland’s energy transition is being hampered by a stubborn coal fleet and grid limitations. A growing level of support and investment among the general public may help ease its path
Community groups trying to improve the green credentials of Edinburgh’s historic buildings, while battling lethargic public authorities and high upfront costs, are hoping small changes can make a big difference
Simply rolling out renewables will not be enough to end Europe’s dependency on gas. Energy efficiency is just as important, says Katarzyna Wardal from Knauf Insulation
This decade is the most important one for energy efficiency in the energy transition. FORESIGHT spoke to Brian Motherway, head of energy efficiency at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to discuss why this is and how it can be better implemented
The energy transition is about more than switching power carriers. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable forms of energy generation is perhaps the most significant change the world will make in its attempts to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. Still, it is not as simple as a straight swap. It requires a complete overhaul of how we live and interact with our world. This is where energy efficiency and the efficient use of energy comes in
The energy transition is not simply a matter of replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon alternatives. It will also be marked by a radical change in our relationship with energy and the spread of technologies like heat pumps and electric vehicles that can yield significant efficiency gains even before traditional energy savings measures come into play
Reducing the amount of energy we use is a key part of cutting emissions by 2050, but asking people to be more frugal could be challenging in a society that prizes consumption. Getting incentives right can shift attitudes
Two of the European Union’s (EU) main energy laws are in the process of being updated. Despite the fundamental role they play in decarbonisation efforts, the rules have so far failed to live up to climate expectations. This is set to change
Sudden spikes in the cost of energy have pushed energy efficiency higher up the public and political agenda. Building renovations can be costly, but there could be ways of making energy efficiency itself more efficient
Thousands of buildings across Europe will need to be renovated on an unprecedented scale if climate and greenhouse gas reduction targets are to be met. Lawmakers’ minds are turning to how best to undertake the Herculean task