|Welcome to ASHRAE’s European Policy Update! This monthly publication features information on policy activities of interest to ASHRAE members in Europe. Archives of previous updates are available from the ASHRAE European Policy Updates webpage.GlossaryEU Regulatory UpdatesEU Funding UpdateUnited Kingdom UpdatesEvents|
EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The European Commission is made up of 27 Commissioners, 1 for each Member State, and represents the interests of the EU as a whole. Every Commissioner is in charge of a Directorate-General (DG) that can be compared to a Ministry at national level. The European Commission proposes legislation in the form of Regulations and Directives and submits them to the Parliament and Council for discussion and adoption.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: The European Parliament is made up of 705 MEPs (see below) that are directly elected by EU citizens in 27 Member States.
MEP: Member of the European Parliament, a co-legislator within the EU that is made up of representatives from political parties throughout Member States.
COUNCIL OF THE EU: Co-legislator, made up of representatives from Member State Governments. Has a six-month rotating presidency, currently held by Romania until the end of June 2019.
EUROPEAN COUNCIL: The European Council is made up of the leaders of the EU member states, commonly known as EU27. It defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities but does not pass laws.
REGULATION: EU legislative act that is binding in its entirety and is to be applied in its entirety across the EU by all EU Member States.
DIRECTIVE: EU legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU Member States must achieve. However, it is up to the EU Member States to adopt their own laws on how to achieve the EU goals enshrined in the Directive.
HORIZON EUROPE: is the next EU Research and Innovation programme for the period of 2021-2027. The amount of the funding (which will be higher than Horizon 2020) is currently being discussed between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. INVESTEU: The InvestEU Programme builds on the successful model of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. It will bring together, under one roof, the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 EU financial instruments currently available. Triggering at least €650 billion in additional investment, the Programme aims to give an additional boost to investment, innovation and job creation in Europe.
EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL: is a set of policy initiatives by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral in 2050. The plan is to review each existing EU law on its climate merits, and also introduce new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation. FIT-FOR-55-PACKAGE: In the European Commission work programme for 2021, the revisions and initiatives linked to the European Green Deal climate actions and in particular the climate target plan’s 55 % net reduction target are presented under the Fit for 55 package.
REHVA: is the association of European heating, ventilation and air-conditioning associations, based in Brussels.
You can find all relevant EU building policy related information in this useful document.
BILL: A bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to significantly change an existing law. A bill may start in either the Commons or the Lords and must pass a series of stages in each Houses. Once the bill has been agreed by both Houses, it receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament.
HOUSE OF COMMONS: the House of Commons is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords (see below), it meets in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved.
HOUSE OF LORDS: The House of Lords scrutinises bills that have been approved by the House of Commons. It regularly reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions.
|EU Regulatory Updates|
|Upcoming Revision of EU Emissions Trading Scheme to Likely Include Buildings|
The European Commission is currently in the process of drafting a new proposal on the revision of the Emissions Trading Scheme Directive (ETS), which has now been confirmed to be released on 14 July 2021. In that regard, the Commission is evaluating whether to include the building sector in the ETS.
|The EU’s energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the Commission’s upcoming revision would propose the extension of the ETS to sectors such as buildings and road transport. Furthermore, on 11 May Diederik Samsom, the chief of staff of EU climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans, suggested that an “adjacent system” to the current ETS would be established for buildings. The Commission has also indicated the goal will be to set up a dedicated fund from the funds collected and use it to compensate the cost of the transition to vulnerable regions and/or citizens of the EU.|
It is important to highlight for ASHRAE members that even though the EU Commission cannot confirm at this stage whether the ETS will be extended to buildings, Mr. Samsom’s remarks indicate towards a high likelihood to see the buildings sector included as part of the revised ETS legislation. Such legislation will be released on 14 July, following which the European Parliament and Council will enter into negotiations and can amend the Commission’s proposal.
|European Commission Organizes Workshops on Revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive|
As indicated in a previous update, the European Commission has been organizing workshops on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). These workshops are meant to inform stakeholders on the on-going work of the Commission related to the revision of the EPBD as well as for the Commission to get
|feedback from the stakeholders interested in providing relevant input to each thematic. A series of workshops have been organised to obtain stakeholders input to the preparation of the revision:|
Workshop: Setting a vision for buildings and a decarbonised buildings stock
Workshop: Minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings
Please find below the slides and stakeholders’ inputs:
Workshop 1 – slides + poll resultsWorkshop 2 – slides + poll results
Of particular interest to ASHRAE is that the Commission focused on setting a vision for buildings and a decarbonised building stock, and it was also a good opportunity for the European heating industry to highlight that heating plays a key role in greenhouse gas emissions, as it represents around 80% of the energy consumption of buildings.
|EPBD Public Consultation to Close on 22 June|
22 June will be the last day for ASHRAE members to participate in the online public consultation from the Commission on the revision of the EPBD.
This will mark the final step before the Commission releases its expected proposal in Q4 of 2021.
|In the framework of the upcoming proposal and as part of the ongoing discussion regarding the Commission’s roadmap for a “Renovation Wave for Europe,” which aims for the renovation of 35 million buildings by 2030, on 2 June, the European Academies’ Scientific Advisory Council (EASAC) released a new report urging the EU to increase the renovation rate of already existing highly polluting buildings, in addition to building more environmental-friendly buildings.|
The report warns that it is no longer enough to build more eco-friendly buildings, but that existing structures must also be renovated. Of the highly polluting buildings already constructed across the EU, only between 1% and 1.5% are being renovated each year. To meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the rate of renovation would have to be two or even three times higher according to the report.
This report also comes ahead of the upcoming Commission’s proposal for a revision of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, which should increase the use of renewable energy to 38%, with a minimum percentage of renewable energy use in buildings – a tool that could help the buildings sector reduce its environmental footprint. The revision is expected to be released on 14 July.
|IEA Releases New Report on ‘Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector’|
On 17 May, the International Energy Agency released a new report considered as the first comprehensive energy roadmap showing how government actions to rapidly boost clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use can create millions of jobs, lift economic growth and keep net zero in reach. According to the report, climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved –
|would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050 and give the world an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. Of importance to ASHRAE is that the report acknowledges the role that District Heating and Cooling (DHC) networks can play in a transition to sustainable heating and cooling. More specifically, in a Net-Zero Emissions Scenario, the report supports that more than 20% of final energy demand will be for space heating in 2050, up from a little over 10% today. The report also points out that district heat networks remain an attractive option for many compact urban centres where heat pump installation is impractical.|
In reference to a phase-out of fossil fuel boilers, the report also highlights that ‘which alternatives are best will depend to some extent on local conditions, but electrification will be the most energy-efficient and cost-effective low-carbon option in most cases, and decarbonising and expanding district energy networks is likely to make sense where densities allow.’
The special report was designed to inform the high-level negotiations that will take place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention in Glasgow in November 2021.
The full report is available here.
|EU Funding Update|
|Built4People Partnership to Kick off Work as of June 2021|
|The European Commission’s driven initiative “Built4People” partnership will kick off as of June 2021. It is a Research & Innovation partnership which will bring together public and private sectors to create research and innovation pathways based on a holistic view of the built environment for sustainability and better living. The partnership will focus primarily in creating connections between the built environment and other sectors i.e. energy and transport, provided that the outcomes contribute to decarbonizing the building sector. |
The partnership will start with launching calls to which any organization can apply, and it will also be possible to provide inputs and opinions through a dedicated “Built4People Stakeholders Forum.” For more information, please contact ASHRAE’s Region XIV contact person Frédéric Aertsens.
|More Member States Submit their Recovery Plans to the Commission|
23 Member States have to date submitted their proposals for EU funding, as part of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, to the Commission.
These plans are available under the following links:
|Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia;Denmark, Spain, Latvia and Luxembourg;Slovakia;France;Germany and Greece;Portugal;Poland;Hungary;Croatia and Lithuania;Cyprus;Finland;Ireland and Sweden;Romania;Czechia|
|Useful for ASHRAE members to note is that in several proposals Member States request funding for decarbonization efforts in buildings, including for heating and cooling applications. |
The Commission is expected to make the first transfer of 13% of the total amount of the recovery funds allocated to Member States once the Commission and the Council validate the recovery plans. The evaluation of the national plans is expected to be completed by July 2021 but some Member States could get approval of their recovery plans as of mid-June.
|United Kingdom Updates|
|Low-carbon Technologies for UK Heating Strategy|
On 31 May, Chris Stark from the Climate Change Committee stated that the future UK Heat and Building Strategy to end gas burning for heat will focus on district heating networks in population-dense cities and conservation areas, with a £20 billion to be invested by 2030.
|To this end, the forthcoming strategy is expected to include several low-carbon technologies, such as capturing of waste heat from data centers and incineration, bigger radiators to let the heat system work with lower temperatures, and heat pumps harvesting heat from old coalmines, rivers and sea. However, at this point, it is still unknown how waste heat will be captured and delivered where it is needed.|
|EU-US Exchange: Advancing a Climate-Neutral Recovery|
|On 17 June, the Building Performance Institute Europe will be hosting a webinar to discuss the EU and US plans to boost energy efficient renovation rates in buildings. This dialogue intends to strengthen transatlantic collaboration and exchange on climate mitigation policy and green recovery policies between the US and EU. |
The webinar will address:What are the main objectives of the EU Renovation Wave and how can the Next Generation EU and the economic recovery plan trigger investments for the transformation of the building stock?How will the American Jobs Plan make the needed investments in US core energy infrastructure to combat climate change and advance environmental justice?What federal programmes support state and local action to advance energy efficiency in homes and buildings across the US?
|Speakers will include:Michael Curtis, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to the United StatesPaula Pinho, Director “Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation” Directorate-General for Energy, European Commission Dr. Regina Gray, Director, Affordable Housing Research & Technology, Policy Development & Research, US Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentStefan Moser, Head of Unit “Buildings and Products,” Directorate-General for Energy, European CommissionGaspard Demur, Team Leader for National Renovation Strategies and Recovery, Directorate-General for Energy, European CommissionAmy Royden-Bloom, Acting Director, US Department of Energy, Weatherization, and Intergovernmental Programs OfficeCynthia Campbell, Director for International and Philanthropic Innovation, Department of Housing and Urban DevelopmentClick hereto register for the event.|
|Efficient Buildings Digital Days|
|Within the Digital Days, the Efficient Buildings Community is organising six capacity building workshops (CBW) of about 2 hours, three in the afternoon of 7-8-9 June 2021 and the other three in the mornings of 15-16-17 June 2021.|
The online event aims at moving forward the discussion on the post-Covid-19 recovery, on sustainable transition and on the role of public buildings refurbishment.
Click here to register for the sessions.
|World Sustainable Energy Days 2021|
|Between 21 – 25 June, the World Sustainable Energy Days will take place in Austria.|
The conference – which attracts over 600 participants from over 60 countries each year – intends to show how we can make a green recovery happen in practice and how the energy transition can contribute as an investment engine to this deep transformation Europe has the ambitious goal of becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
One of the topics will be dedicated to ‘energy efficient buildings, processes, methods, appliances, equipment and installations.
Click here to register for the event.
|For additional information on European policy issues, please contact Brusselsoffice@ashrae.org.|