Energy Efficiency targets set at EU level by legislation are currently being reviewed. The related SET-Plan rolls out concrete steps how research and innovation could further reach these targets by 2025. However, the current practice to construct nearly zero-energy houses will be insufficient to reach the CO2 emission reduction targets for 2050. Therefore, it is necessary to develop further the concept of "Plus Energy Houses", producing more energy than they use. Buildings have long life cycles until they are replaced. Therefore, it is essential to speed up the development of the required technologies.
New designs, making use of already developed and validated materials and components and smarter control systems ready to treat vast amounts of data are needed. The surplus of energy should come from renewable sources (geothermal heat, photovoltaics, wind, etc.), obviously optimizing the dynamic character of the energy balance all along the year.
Each proposal should be expected to involve pioneer cities (demonstrations in a multi- storey apartment building situated in each of the 4 climatic zones in Europe). Such buildings should be properly managed and connected to the neighbourhood grid. Proposals should take the lead by levering funding with other energy efficiency schemes, including the private sector. Erecting buildings at such pioneer cities should not encounter regulatory problems. For this reason, the proposal will identify any bottlenecks in the existing regulations and standards concerned by the locations chosen.
Proposals submitted under this topic should include actions designed to facilitate cooperation with other projects; to enhance user involvement; and to ensure the accessibility and reusability of data produced in the course of the project.
Activities should start at TRL 5 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Proposals should achieve all of the following:
- Similar costs as compared to the 2020 nearly zero-energy buildings as an incentive to erect energy-plus-houses;
- Increase of the share of plus-energy houses with the view of 10% market uptake by 2030;
- Contribute reducing of CO2 emissions in the residential sector by 88% in 2050 compared to the 1990 levels;
- Improved indoor environment leading to higher rate of users' satisfaction based on their demand and behaviour.
Illustration Photo: Residential home with solar PV modules (credits: Dennis Schroeder / NREL / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))