The policy landscape for energy efficiency in Europe is among the most stringent in the world. These regulations have contributed to the development of a growing market for energy efficient buildings. At the same time, mandatory changes to country-level building codes are increasing the performance requirements that apply to new construction and major renovations of existing buildings, with the goal of delivering nearly zero energy buildings by 2019 and 2021 for public and private buildings, respectively.
A recent report from Navigant Research, “Energy Efficient Buildings: Europe,” analyzes the European market for residential and commercial building energy efficient products and services, including market forecasts for revenue through 2023.
The European energy efficient buildings market is led by France, Germany and the United Kingdom, all of which consistently show strong policy support and companies with product and service innovation. Italy and Spain have many elements of promising markets but less effective policy and regulatory frameworks than some of their European peers, while the Scandinavian countries show the strongest regional total products and services revenue compound annual growth rate of the five European regions assessed.
Overall, continent-wide revenue from energy efficient buildings in Europe, including products and services, is expected to grow from $56 billion annually in 2014 to $109 billion in 2023.
Despite relatively high and rising energy costs in Europe and a vast array of technology and service options available, Navigant found that the energy efficient buildings market is under-delivering the cost-effective and technically feasible improvement opportunities available to customers.
Different approaches to energy efficiency are needed based on the range of building vintages in Europe and the construction and use differences between the residential and commercial stock.
Commercial buildings, for example, are cooling-led and require better efficiency for space cooling and ventilation. Improved controls for commercial HVAC systems can help ensure that heating and cooling are not running simultaneously and that zoning, temperature points and ramp-up/down cycles effectively match building occupancy.
Commercial lighting controls show great potential in controlling lighting consumption based on occupancy and daylighting levels. Leasing models for the lighting sector are also emerging.
Fabric improvements such as high-performance glazing and shades and louvers can help to address heat attenuation issues in commercial buildings, and phase-change materials, a niche product, can help regulate internal heat gains.