The buildings sector plays a critical role in clean energy transitions as it accounts for more than 30% of global energy use and 30% of energy related emissions. The sector also has huge potential to be a “job machine” and contribute to sustainable recoveries by creating more than three million jobs alone according to the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan.
To highlight this critical importance of sustainable buildings, the IEA and Tsinghua University held the 6th joint workshop on the topic of sustainable recovery of the building sector on 28 September 2020 which brought together online more than 70 international and Chinese academics, engineers, policy officers and private players.
The first session of the workshop focused on cooling, which is the fastest growing use of energy in buildings. With China accounting for roughly 40% of global electricity consumption for residential air conditioners and about one-fifth of global electricity consumption for refrigerators, efficient cooling is an indispensable element for sustainable buildings in China.
Against this background, Brian Motherway, Head of IEA Energy Efficiency at the IEA opened the session by highlighting the building efficiency opportunities that can be exploited in line with China’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060. The director of Tsinghua University Buildings Research Center, Professor Jiang Yi, highlighted the importance of an integrated approach to efficient building that includes greener building design, advanced technology, and smarter behaviours.
The second session on renewable integration provided equally important messages for green buildings. Timur Gül, Head of IEA Energy Technology Policy at the IEA, shared highlights from the recently released Energy Technology Perspectives 2020, featuring a global pathway to net-zero carbon emission from the energy sector. Experts from China, the Europe Commission, and the United States followed by sharing insights on a wide range of topics from policy making to renewable technology and digitalisation. Specific perspectives were provided by Chinese local private players like Broad group and Nanjing Guochen DC Power Distribution Technology Co., Ltd..
The IEA and Tsinghua University will continue to cooperate on promoting sustainable buildings in China, drawing on IEA’s increasing work on behavioural insights, digitalisation and smart cities.
For more information and the full agenda, visit the event page.