Technology Roadmap: Energy-Efficient Buildings: Heating and Cooling Equipment

Technology Roadmap: Energy-Efficient Buildings: Heating and Cooling Equipment
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Edition: 2011
56 pages

Release Date: 16 May 2011


Buildings account for almost one-third of final energy consumption globally and are an equally important source of CO2 emissions. Currently, both space heating and cooling, as well as hot water, are estimated to account for roughly half of global energy consumption in buildings. Energy-efficient and low/zero-carbon heating and cooling technologies for buildings have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2 gigatonnes (Gt) and save 710 million tonnes oil equivalent (Mtoe) of energy by 2050. Most of these technologies – which include solar thermal, combined heat and power (CHP), heat pumps and thermal energy storage – are commercially available today.

The Energy-Efficient Buildings: Heating and Cooling Equipment Roadmap sets out a detailed pathway for the evolution and deployment of the key underlying technologies. It finds that urgent action is required if the building stock of the future is to consume less energy and result in lower CO2 emissions. The roadmap concludes with a set of near-term actions that stakeholders will need to take to achieve the roadmap’s vision. 

Other key Findings

  • An additional USD 3.5 billion a year needs to be made available for research and development (R&D) by 2030. R&D efforts should focus on reducing costs and improving the efficiency and integration of components. R&D into hybrid systems could lead to highly efficient low-carbon technologies (e.g. integrated solar thermal/heat pump systems, CHP). Beyond 2030, R&D needs to focus on developing technologies that go beyond the best that are currently available.
  • Governments need to create the economic conditions that will enable heating and cooling technologies to meet environmental criteria at least cost. Policies need to be “broad” to address specific barriers (e.g. lack of installer awareness) and “deep” to reach all of the stakeholders in the fragmented building sector.
  • Governments should develop national roadmaps, tailored to local circumstances, which help to drive market expansion, advance systems development and integration, shape supportive policy and enhance collaboration. Policies should set measurable and meaningful targets, such as CO2 emissions reductions, or ensure that programme effectiveness is verified regularly.

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