European Green Building Space to Almost Quadruple by 2016

A NEW report on improving energy efficiency in Europe’s commercial buildings from clean technology analysts Pike Research predicts a four fold increase over the next four to five years.

The European Union (EU) has adopted “20-20-20” targets that call for 20 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the increase of renewables to 20 percent of total energy use, and 20 percent cuts in overall energy consumption through energy efficiency. 

The policy represents one of the world’s most ambitious climate change-related initiatives, these goals have strong implications for the increased adoption of energy efficiency measures in commercial buildings across the continent.

The building sector accounts for nearly 40 percent of total energy consumption in the region. According to the report by Pike Research, these policy goals will help increase the amount of certified green building space in Europe by nearly four-fold, to 687 million square meters, by 2016.

While EU-level policy initiatives will provide important market shapers, the primary drivers for the spread of energy-efficient buildings will be reducing energy costs.

“Not only are energy prices currently high, but price volatility and future carbon legislation present significant risks to organizations as future energy costs could rise unpredictably,” says research analyst Eric Bloom. “As a result, the percentage of total building space that is certified green will increase from less than 1 percent in 2010 to more than 2 percent in 2016.”

The largest markets for energy-efficient buildings in Europe are Germany and France, which each represents a market comparable in size to the rest of Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia.  

In Germany, where the market is relatively fragmented by region, the decision to abandon nuclear power and shift to renewables in the coming decade has accelerated the push for energy efficiency in buildings.

France, meanwhile, has instituted a national energy plan called the “Grenelle de l’Environnement” that aims to establish France as the least carbon-intensive country in the European Union. Already, a quarter of new construction in France requests green building certification. In Germany, half the cities now require Passive House construction in new public buildings.

Pike Research’s report, “Energy Efficient Buildings: Europe”, examines market conditions and emerging opportunities related to energy efficiency for buildings in Europe. The study includes in-depth, country-level analysis of public policy and regulatory issues, energy service companies, performance contracting, green building certification, and the economics and financing structures behind energy efficiency retrofits. Key industry players are profiled and market forecasts, segmented by country, extend through 2016.

Picture of Waterfont Buildings at Bermondsey © Copyright Rod Allday and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Saturday 8th October 2011

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