Page 33 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation  33


Towards zero emissions buildings

The European Directive on energy efficiency
            (Directive 2012/27/EU) and on energy performance
            of buildings (Directive 2010/31/EU) create a
            breakthrough in European (sustainability or climate)
policies. The objectives as well as tools of intervention and
verification oblige member states to immediately adopt a
clear strategy for the improvement of performance of the
buildings. The EU Directive stipulates that after 2020 all
new buildings must be zero energy buildings and those
buildings will also be near zero CO2 emission buildings
(NZCO2EB) due to energy use. Although there has been
much recent focus on measures to reduce the emissions
from new buildings, the existing building stock remains
largely untouched and many refurbishment projects miss
opportunities to reduce emissions to deliver low CO2
buildings. The newly approved Interreg Europe project -
ZEROCO2- comprises partners from eight member states.
ZEROCO2 is led by Local Energy Agency Spodnje Podravje,
Slovenia, and is joined by partners from Greece, Italy,
Lithuania, Malta, Germany, Finland and France. The project
partners will define near zero CO2 emission buildings due
to energy use (NZCO2EB) and present the various benefits
resulting from this innovation. The main subjects addressed
in the ZEROCO2 project are regional policies concerning
environment and energy that will support the EU targets.

This project was initiated in April 2016 with the              technologies, services and business models. ZEROCO2 will
commencement of each partner’s regional policy report in       represent and implement NZCO2EB in policies addressed in
respect of NZCO2EB and the execution of a cost benefit         a similar fashion to that which was done for near zero energy
analysis based on applied examples in each of the partner’s    buildings, which means that buildings do not produce CO2
regions. In executing the cost benefit analysis, exchange      emissions due their use. The ZEROCO2 partnership will
activities will create the process of presenting different     meet the flagship initiative: “Resource efficient Europe” to
options of energy sources and different technologies           help decouple economic growth from the use of resources,
that can be used locally, regionally and nationally that will  supporting the transition towards a low carbon economy.
contribute to decrease of CO2 emissions, while supporting      All in all, ZEROCO2 will support the growth in the use
regional development. The methodology uses an                  of renewable energy sources and promotion of energy
interregional approach that will engage and target policy      efficiency through improved regional policies. l
makers from different European regions to reduce CO2
emissions while simultaneously accelerating the transition       Contact details:
towards sustainable development at local, regional, national
and European levels. Through this interregional cooperation
regions will identify, share and transfer innovative   
methodologies, technologies, processes and good practices        Email:
in developing and implementing NZCO2EB policies,
targeting new constructions and retrofitting of existing

ZEROCO2 places special emphasis on greening the
building sector through enhancement of various ecofriendly
energy sources and technologies, consequently serving
as an incubator for new markets in the field of energy,
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