Building Efficiency to Boom in Europe


Energy efficiency will sweep across Europe’s buildings to the tune of nearly $800 billion in the years ahead, a new report forecasts.

“Energy-Efficient Buildings: Europe,by Navigant Research, analyzes and forecasts the market for residential and commercial building energy-efficient products and services in Europe.

According to the report, the annual market for building energy efficient products and services in Europe is currently estimated at $56 billion in 2014, a figure that is expected to rise to $109 billion in 2023. Cumulatively, the forecast figures total $791.7 billion across the whole period.

Europe's energy efficiency is primarily influenced by two pieces of EU legislation: the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). Both directives create a solid basis for market activity, Navigant reports. 

“The EED aims to achieve 20 percent improvements in energy efficiency, carbon emissions, and the penetration of renewable energy,” principal research analyst Eric Bloom said in an announcement.

“Although we believe it is likely to fall short of its goals, it will play a big role, along with the EPBD, in expanding the energy-efficient buildings market across the region.”

European Building Efficiency
LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay

Many European buildings are centuries old and lacking in energy efficiency.

The report also discusses the factors that enhance or hinder the market on a European and regional basis, along with technology drivers for increased building energy performance.

The report groups the 28 member states of the European Union, plus Norway and Switzerland, into five regions: Northwest Europe, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Southern Europe, and Eastern Europe.

Market Issues

According to the report, the policies for energy efficiency in Europe are among the most rigid in the world.

Each member of the EU is required to draft national-level legislation to fulfill mandates and directives. Countries vary in the scope of their programs, with Northern European countries leading the way.

The market is hindered by factors that affect energy efficiency globally:

  • Lack of technical resources and capacity within companies to elevate energy efficiency decision-making to the highest levels;
  • Competing options for corporate investment;
  • Split incentives between tenants and landlords;
  • Lack of incentives and long payback periods; and
  • Lack of public sector capacity to manage large portfolios and prioritize investments.

Technology Issues

Technology can also be a hindrance in Europe’s energy-efficiency drive, as buildings across the region range dramatically in age and each country has its own approach for commercial and residential structures.

Single Pane Window
Green Building Advisor

Single-pane windows are a major cause of energy loss for buildings, an issue the EU is attempting to improve in its member countries.

Other areas that pose technology challenges include:

  • The increasing need for high-efficiency HVAC systems;
  • Commercial premises that require better efficiency for space cooling and ventilation;
  • The relatively slow adoption of LED lighting; and
  • Lack of thermal efficiency in many homes that still lack sufficient insulation or contain single-pane windows;

Product and Service Vendors

According to the report, the product side of the market is led by a large number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), many of which are based in Europe.

The OEMs are expanding their services, paving the way for increased revenues in that sector.

Many of these OEMs also act as energy service companies that provide performance contracts for energy efficiency. This allows the manufacturers to guarantee the level of energy savings customers can expect, the report said.


Tagged categories: Building envelope; Building Envelope; Energy efficiency; Europe; Green building; Lighting; Thermal emittance; Windows

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