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The European Council reached an agreement on a proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The main objectives of the proposal are that all new buildings should be zero-emission buildings by 2030 and that existing buildings should be transformed into zero-emission buildings by 2050.
The agreement paves the way for the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament. Once a political agreement is reached between the two institutions, the final text will be formally adopted by the Council and the Parliament.
The agreement was welcomed by COGEN Europe as a good starting point for higher ambition on buildings decarbonisation.
Furthermore, COGEN Europe welcomes some elements of the Council’s position, including its recognition of the role of efficient district heating and the need to deploy a broad range of renewable energy sources so that all buildings can meet the zero-emission buildings (ZEB) standard.
Hans Korteweg, managing director of COGEN Europe, commented: “The EPBD will be key to ensuring that the whole of Europe’s building stock can transition towards zero-emission buildings by 2050. High ambition in demand reduction must be complemented by measures to smartly and cost-effectively cover remaining demand with efficient, flexible and increasing renewable energy sources.”
“High-efficiency cogeneration is a cost-effective way to provide electricity, heating and cooling as well as hot water to buildings, either via district heating or by installing micro-CHP systems in individual buildings,” continued Korteweg.
“Cogeneration not only improves buildings’ energy efficiency, but by running on clean hydrogen or renewable energy sources it can also contribute towards the objective of zero emissions. Moreover, cogeneration generates controllable electricity and heat close to the point of consumption, thereby reducing the strain on electricity grids during periods of peak demand and at times when the supply of energy from intermittent renewables is insufficient.”
Korteweg added: “We call on the European Parliament to ensure an ambitious framework for decarbonising Europe’s building stock while providing a level playing field for all efficient, smart and renewable energy solutions.”
Jozef Síkela, Czech minister of industry and trade, said in a statement: “The building sector is crucial for achieving the EU’s energy and climate objectives for 2030 and 2050. But more than that, the agreement reached today will help citizens make substantial energy savings. Better and more energy efficient buildings will improve citizens’ quality of life while bringing down their energy bills and alleviating energy poverty.”