Is Widespread Adoption of Net-Zero Energy Possible?

EU FlagBuildings in the European Union represent about 40 percent of the EU’s energy consumption and produce about 36 percent of its total CO2 emissions. So renovation of existing buildings is necessary for energy savings and greenhouse gases reduction. Renovations of entire districts, designed to reach near zero energy consumption need to be copied easily if they are to be widely adopted, according to an article by phys.org.

New buildings only account for 1 percent to 1.5 percent of the building stock.

R2CITIES plans on cuts in energy consumption by about 60 percent of districts renovated on a large scale. The concept is not well-developed and approach to build economies of scale is needed.

But three local jurisdictions in three different countries have become involved in showcasing these potential savings. They are located in Valladolid, Spain, Genoa, Italy and Kartal-Istanbul, Turkey. All three share common problems, such as insufficient insulation. Common solutions to meet the energy needs of these districts include adoption of solar thermal and photovoltaic energy production. Their ultimate goal is to achieve cities with a near-zero energy consumption.

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