The EU commits to zero emissions in new buildings in 2030


the twenty seven have agreed this Tuesday to defend during the revision of the community regulations on energy efficiency in the construction sector that from 2030 zero emissions goal is imposed on all new construction buildingsa challenge of neutrality in emissions that they believe should be required of the entire real estate park in 2050. In this way, the governments align themselves with two of the challenges proposed by the European Commission last December in its initiative to revise the Directive on energy performance of buildings and that they still have to negotiate with the European Parliament before finalizing the final reform.

In the mandate that energy ministers of the EU have closed in their meeting in Luxembourg it is detailed that the objective of “zero emissions” should be more ambitious for new buildings built for public administration, since they must comply with that neutrality already in 2028.However, the member states they open the door to exceptions in terms and objectives in the case of certain properties, for example places of worship, historical buildings or constructions with defensive purposes.

For existing buildings, Member States want to introduce minimum energy performance standards corresponding to the maximum amount of primary energy that buildings can use per square meter per year. The objective of this measure is encourage renewal of the oldest buildings with the worst energy rating and even lead to the phase out of those with the worst performance, so that a renewal of the real estate stock is generated.

Within the framework of the harmonization of energy certification, the twenty seven They advocate creating a new category ‘A0’ for buildings that meet the neutrality objective and offer the ‘A+’ category for those buildings that, in addition to complying with the zero emissions requirement, contribute to the generation of renewable energy to the electricity grid.

Solar energy

Another of the initiatives that is intended to be promoted with the regulatory review is to ensure that the design of new buildings optimizes their potential as generators of solar energy. Thus, for example, countries state that before the end of 2026 all public buildings and offices have a usable area for solar energy of at least 250 square meters; a threshold that would increase to 400 square meters for the same types of property that were extensively renovated from December 2027. Already in 2030 it would apply to all new buildings.

The third vice president and head of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has expressed her opinion regarding this negotiating position that the Member States have chosen to be “as ambitious as possible” when setting objectives, although they have provided room for progress is “gradual” in each country depending on its real estate and energy reality.

“You must take into account the large differences in energy consumption per square meter. It is not reasonable to ask families for an effort that may be disproportionate in relation to the results in terms of savings, in a hasty way”, explained Ribera in statements to the press in Luxembourg, at the end of the meeting of energy ministers of the For this reason, the vice-president, progress towards goals must be “gradual, non-linear”which takes into account factors such as the climatological or geographic factors of each country, so that “all” buildings to be emission neutral by 2050 but “each adapting it to their reality”.


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