BPIE: buildings as energy-hubs can strengthen the energy system. Buildings could play a major role in supporting the low carbon development of other sectors, says BPIE in its latest paper. 10 principles are making the case for buildings to be at the core of a decarbonised energy system, producing, storing and supplying energy, making the energy system more flexible, resilient and efficient.
As micro energy-hubs, highly efficient buildings can balance the grid through proactive energy demand management and play a leading role in transforming the EU energy market, shifting from centralised, fossil-fuel-based systems towards a decentralised, renewable, interconnected and variable system.
There are many benefits to fast-tracking the concept of micro energy-hubs: from empowering users to control their own renewable energy production and consumption; to cutting energy bills and facilitating the surge of renewable energy as well as electrical vehicles, and even reinforcing energy security.
BPIE identifies 10 principles for buildings to become micro energy-hubs which should be the reference when re-designing our energy system. They are all important separately, but more impactful once considered together. Maximising the buildings’ energy efficiency level, however is the first priority in order to successfully apply the other principles.
Once this first principle is implemented, the other principles to transform the building sector should be applied, such asrenewable energy integration, incorporating demand response, stimulating energy storage capacity, encouraging uptake of electric vehicles, decarbonising heating & cooling energy and more.
Developing an enabling and supportive policy framework is a key success factor. The ongoing reviews of building-related legislation should reflect the concept and revised legislative instruments should encompass the full scope of micro energy-hubs Oliver Rapf, BPIE’s Executive Director, adds that “an all-encompassing vision on buildings as micro energy-hubs would have a bearing on all five dimensions of the Energy Union – from supporting security of supply to decarbonising the economy. In light of the legislative packages under way in 2016, serious thought should be given to including this concept”.
The Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) is a European not-for-profit think-tank with a focus on independent analysis and knowledge dissemination, supporting evidence-based policy making in the field of energy performance in buildings. It delivers policy analysis, policy advice and implementation support.