No Member State of the European Union stands ready to transition to developing smart buildings, and take advantage of the benefits such a transition would afford, says a new report from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe.
According to the new report from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), published this week, after assessing numerous factors across the EU, including dynamic operability, energy-system responsiveness, renewable energy uptake, and dynamic and self-learning control systems, no Member State within the European Union is fully prepared “to take advantage of the benefits that smart building technologies will entail.”
The BPIE defines ‘smart buildings’ as “flexibly connected and interacting with the energy system, being able to produce, store and/or consume energy efficiently.” The authors of the report note that, if “the European building stock” is to contribute significantly to achieving the global climate target following the Paris Agreement, “the built environment must undergo a deep transformation and become both smart and efficient.”
As such, the BPIE identifies five pillars of a smart built environment:
The report finds that the leading countries in terms of ‘readiness’ are Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands, each having implemented enabling policies. However, according to the report, “most countries show little progress in opening the market to demand response or in encouraging the penetration of energy storage capacity in buildings.” In fact, only Sweden, Finland, and Italy have completed their deployment of smart meters so that nearly all consumers now have access to the technology. And while European policy improvements could enable faster deployment of smart meter technology, this has not happened yet, and as a result the rollout across the Union is slow.
“As consumers are at the centre of the EU’s legislation for a low-carbon, healthier and more comfortable building stock, they should be empowered to take control over their energy consumption and production,” said Oliver Rapf, Executive Director of BPIE. “Smart and efficient buildings can deliver direct benefits for citizens in terms of lower energy bills and more comfortable homes, and wider benefits for the European economy triggering innovation and creating new job opportunities.”