To meet the Paris agreement targets, it will be necessary to scale up the use of emissions-free energy technologies rapidly, including renewable energies and energy efficiency. Buildings are responsible for around 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which impact climate change negatively.
The Net-Zero Energy Buildings appear to be the most effective concept that combines energy efficiency and clean energy technology solutions to move toward carbon-free buildings. This achievement has been demonstrated by many countries that have set goals and challenges to approach a progressive energy neutrality balance for buildings.
The concept of "net-zero energy building", also known as zero net energy (ZNE), develops a structural building that can generate its own required energy and have zero adverse effects. However, to achieve the energy balance, we should first reduce the energy demand and create the energy needed to supply the market through clean technologies.
By adopting ZNE building, natural resources and quarries can be saved. Besides, it can generate synergies among the key actors that create jobs in many areas for professionals (architects, engineers, developers, owners) and construction workers.
There are clean technologies that are mature and cost-effective that can support the adoption of Net-Zero Energy Buildings and the technical knowledge for its development exists. However, ZNE buildings require a dedicated framework to be developed. This holistic approach should consider environmental performance, buildings' decarbonization, and occupancy & thermal comfort. This may help policymakers to shape a new energy policy in the building sector.
In this context, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) are organising a series of two virtual workshops on the net-zero energy buildings concepts. The aim of these workshops is to exchange relevant best practices, information and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on the ZNE buildings principles in the context of energy transitions and climate change mitigation. It will also discuss the challenges that the use of energy in the building sector in the EU and the GCC regions are facing and what can be done to transform them into business and economic opportunities. These online events will bring together policymakers, technology leaders, regulators, government representatives, and experts to debate the key challenges and opportunities by examining; policies and regulations, technology advancement, and current business models that could enable the ZNE buildings concept to emerge.
The workshop shall seek answers to the following questions:
- Which opportunities/options and challenges exist for ZNE concept at local and regional levels?
- What are the most convenient/suitable policies and regulations that can enable ZNE concept in buildings?
- What are the drivers for investment in ZNE concept in buildings?
- What are successful business models to accelerate the introduction of energy efficiency technologies and measures?
- What role can SMEs, ESCOs, and developers play to facilitate and support ZNE concept adoption?
- What is needed for the capacity building development (training and certification)?
- Which key actions/recommendations should be suggested to promote collaboration between the EU and the GCC stakeholders?
The target audiences for this online series of workshops include:
- Policy/decision-makers and buildings' owners.
- Industrial & Building energy-users.
- Architects, engineers, technicians, and technology providers who work with energy-users to implement efficient energy systems/concepts/material and digital technologies.
- Academicians, researchers, and analysts examining clean energy trends, policies, and concepts.