Renovation Wave plan aims to cut emissions, reduce energy poverty

A network of five founding Bauhaus will be set up in 2022 in different EU countries

Photo: EU Frans Timmermans and Kadri Simson.

The ambition to at least double renovation rates of buildings in the next decade and ensure renovations lead to higher efficiency and sparingly use of energy and resource, is at the core of the Renovation Wave Strategy, released by the EU Commission on Wednesday. 

In other words, the executive expects that by 2030 could be renovated , 35 million buildings and up to 160,000 additional green jobs for the construction branch established.

The effect being pursued is to make it better the quality of life for people living in and using the buildings, reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, foster digitalisation and improve the reuse and recycling of materials.

Buildings account for nearly 40% of the EU's energy consumption, and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions and just 1% of buildings undergo energy efficient renovation every year. More than 220 million buildings, representing approximately 85% of the building stock, were built before 2001 and will mostly still be standing in 2050. To make Europe climate-neutral by the middle of the century are necessary sound and rapid actions.

Public policies to promote energy efficient renovation are also a response to energy poverty, support the health and wellbeing of people and help reduce their energy bills, as still about 34 million Europeans cannot cover the energy costs and are not keeping their homes heated.

Together with the Renovation Wave Strategy was also published a recommendation for EU countries on tackling energy poverty.

We want everyone in Europe to have a home they can light, heat, or cool without breaking the bank or breaking the planet, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said specifying that the strategy will improve the places where Europeans work, live and study, while reducing the impact on the environment and providing jobs. We need better buildings if we want to build back better, he opined.

Decarbonisation of heating and cooling, tackling energy poverty and worst-performing buildings, and renovation of public buildings such as schools, hospitals and administrative buildings are the three priority tasks under the strategy.

Current barriers throughout the renovation chain should be broke down with a set of policy measures, funding tools and technical assistance instruments.

According to Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, the green recovery starts at home. With the Renovation Wave we will tackle the many barriers that today make renovation complex, expensive and time consuming, holding back much needed action, she said explaining that the Commission will propose better ways to measure renovation benefits, minimum energy performance standards, more EU funding and technical assistance encourage green mortgages and support more renewables in heating and cooling.

Among the lead actions that the Commission suggests are stronger regulations, standards and information on the energy performance of buildings and ensuring accessible and well-targeted funding. This includes also cash through the ‘Renovate' and ‘Power Up' Flagships in the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

On the list of tasks is as well increasing capacity to prepare and perform renovation projects and expanding the market for sustainable construction products and services

A trend announced by EC President Ursula von der Leyen at her this year’s State of the Union address - a New European Bauhaus, is described in the strategy as an interdisciplinary project co-steered by an advisory board of external experts. This advisory pool will comprise scientists, architects, designers, artists, planners and civil society. Until next summer the Commission will guide a broad participatory co-creation process, and will then set up of a network of five founding Bauhaus in 2022 in different EU countries.



Similar articles