Page 24 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
P. 24

24  Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation


Reimagining the energy system
– smart buildings and electric

How smart buildings and electric vehicles can successfully work together

By Cosmina Marian, Buildings Performance Institute Europe

                Buildings, transport and power
                                                                                                                                    sectors are the three biggest
                                                                                                                                    CO2 polluters in Europe. But
                                                                                                                                    emerging new trends - such
                                                                                                                        as digitalisation, mass customisation,
                                                                                                                        servitisation, greater circularity and
                                                                                                                        resource efficiency – are leaving their
                                                                                                                        mark by transforming how these
                                                                                                                        sectors work. These external factors,
                                                                                                                        together with the EU’s decarbonisation
                                                                                                                        goals, must lead to an energy efficient,
                                                                                                                        more decentralised, renewable-energy-
                                                                                                                        based and interdependent energy

                                                                                                                        While in the past, these three sectors
                                                                                                                        might have been separated, they are
                                                                                                                        now linked by innovative technologies
                                                                                                                        and business models, a sign of the
                                                                                                                        energy system’s changing needs.
                                                                                                                        Buildings, currently often viewed as
                                                                                                                        inflexible, are evolving, becoming
                                                                                                                        micro energy-hubs. These are buildings
                                                                                                                        flexibly connected and synchronised
                                                                                                                        with the energy system, able to
                                                                                                                        produce, store and/or consume energy
                                                                                                                        efficiently. They can adapt to citizen’s
                                                                                                                        needs and simultaneously strengthen
                                                                                                                        the energy system. Micro energy-hubs
                                                                                                                        are smart buildings.

                                                                                                                        Almost in parallel, electric vehicles have
                                                                                                                        entered the market, being championed
                                                                                                                        by companies like Tesla, but now hailed
                                                                                                                        by most car manufacturers. A greener
                                                                                                                        car fleet will reduce air pollution and
                                                                                                                        greenhouse gas emissions. In Norway,
                                                                                                                        for example, almost one quarter of
                                                                                                                        the new vehicles sold today run on
                                                                                                                        electricity and politicians from all sides
                                                                                                                        have agreed to have 100% of the newly

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