INZEB and GIZ organised on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 14.00, the online event “Smart and Energy Efficient Buildings”, in which the prospects and the framework for smart and energy efficient buildings in Europe, as well as strategies, political and technological developments in Greece were presented and discussed. The event was part of REDay2020: # Renovate2Recover, organised by the Renovate Europe Campaign.

According to Mr. Ulrich Laumanns, Project Manager, GIZ, we need more ambitious practices and measures to promote Smart and Energy Efficient Buildings, to increase renovation rates and achieve national and European targets by 2030 and beyond. At the same time, he pointed out that renovation strategies must consider specific national characteristics such as climatic conditions or building types. Many challenges related to the scaling-up of the current renovation rates, e.g. increasing the effectiveness of support programs, are however similar across different EU member states. For this reason, there is a significant potential for EU Member States to share and learn from each other’s experiences and best practices in the promotion of smart and energy efficient buildings, as Mr. Laumanns concludes.

Mr. Adrian Joyce, Campaign Director, Renovate Europe Campaign, pointed out the three priorities of renovation according to the European Commission, which are tackling energy poverty and worst-performing buildings, the renovation of public buildings such as schools, hospitals and public administrations and decarbonization of heating and cooling. He also emphasized that Renewable Energy Sources work best in smart and energy efficient buildings.

In her presentation, Ms. Maria Spyraki, MEP, EPP, indicated the low performance of the Member States in terms of energy renovation targets. She pointed out that in order to achieve the goals, we must proceed to a radical renovation of the existing building stock. EU’s buildings are now more than 220 million, as she remarked, and 85% of the building stock was built before 2001 and will be used by 2050. She emphasized the ways to tackle the problem, including creating a sustainable building materials market and the creation of renovation’s waste management market. The need for our buildings to become “smart”, which means to use new technologies, to allow the efficient production and the use of Renewable Energy Sources as well as the need to install smart meters in buildings, was also one of the main topics of her speech.

Mr. Dimitris Athanasiou, DG Energy, European Commission, spoke about the European Green Deal which laid the foundations and the action plan to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 through a series of actions. Buildings, as he pointed out, play a very important role in this as they are among the largest energy consumers. Furthermore, he emphasized the important steps that have been taken in recent years, both at European and national level and lastly that we are moving in the direction of reviewing energy and climate goals.

Mr. Antonis Marinos, Head of Office, Secretariat General for Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Environment and Energy, in his speech reported on the National Plan for Energy and Climate which started with the main goal of de-lignification of electricity production industry, accompanied by other horizontal goals such as sustainable growth and development of the energy sector. He also referred to projects and actions to achieve the savings objectives such as the “Eksoikonomo-Autonomo”, the “Electra” program and energy audits.

Prof. Agis Papadopoulos, Professor of Energy Systems, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, identified intelligent buildings in the sense of content, an intelligent building, as the speaker pointed out, allows the integrated management of E/M systems, the remote diagnosis and adjustment of systems and the ability of the building to communicate with infrastructure networks. He also indicated the need for thorough renovation of buildings in Greece. Finally, he concluded that if we want to have achieved our goals by 2050, we need policies that will make significant breakthroughs.

Dr. Haris Doukas, Assoc. Professor, National Technical University of Athens, in his speech focused on the data dimension. In particular, he referred to the reluctance of investments in energy efficiency due to the lack of confidence in the return on such investments and the risks involved, as well as the lack of commonly accepted standards and procedures for energy efficiency investments, which significantly increase costs. In addition, he spoke about the complexity of the building sector, the lack and low quality of data, which, as he pointed out, creates problems in costs, enhances complexity and uncertainty.

Last, Mrs Alice Corovessi, Managing Director, INZEB, presented the H2020 SMAFIN project, which kicked off on September 1, 2020. Its primary goal is the constructive connection of “smart financing” with the renovation of energy efficient buildings in the Balkans and the creation of a complete roundtable methodology. Following the successful experience of the Sustainable Energy Investment Forums’ (SEIFs), the SMAFIN project plans to organise 12 national roundtable discussions in the 4 participating Balkan countries of the project – Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Romania – in order to bring together knowledge, practices and EU policymakers, national and local authorities as well as key players in the financial, business, construction and academia sectors to effectively facilitate investment in the renovation of energy efficient buildings.

The presentations were followed by a fruitful discussion between speakers and participants, with the aim of a deeper analysis of what was said.

The video of the online event is available here.

The presentations of the speakers of the event are available in the links below.

*Both presentations and video are in the Greek language!

1. Adrian Joyce_REC 2. Dimitris Athanasiou_EC 3. Antonis Marinos_YPEN 4. Prof. Agis Papadopoulos_AUTH

5. Dr. Haris Doukas_NTUA 6. Alice Corovessi_INZEB



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