European Solar Thermal Industry Federation

Making buildings smart: empowering consumers and delivering the Energy Union cost-effectively

Date: 21 Jul 2016
Category: Solar Heat News

This event, organised by eu.bac (the European Building Automation and Controls Association), on the 12 July, tried to elaborate on the concept of 'Smart Building', while looking into the EU's current policy landscape; and discussing the most cost-effective paths for the gradual transformation of EU's building stock into 'Smart Buildings' in the longer term.

Marie Donnelly, Director for Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency, DG ENER was the key speaker. She explained in general the way EC looks into the energy ecosystem and the central role that buildings will play, generating, using and storing energy. Energy storage is a key concept for the energy ecosystem and it needs to become an appealing business model. For that, some conditions in the market are required, which EC will try to answer in the Market Design review. The current legislative review will promote innovation, promoting more ICT in the energy system and leaving the door open for additional technological development in different technologies and new business approaches, namely in terms of energy services.

This intervention was followed by a debate between different experts. It is clear that the concept of ‘Smart Building’ is still being shaped and everyone will now have a different view, even if EC already tried to frame a concrete concept. Obviously technology and ICT will play a major role, namely controls. Though the development of smart meters is not linear and there are still big questions marks around its deployment: what kind of smart meter, which interaction with DSOs, who pays for it, and, possibly the biggest question now, how will the data treatment be done?

A final remark. Concepts such as smart cities, smart buildings, smart meters, etc, have been very present in the policy debate over the last years. And it might have led to the impression that they were imminent in the market. Now, when such concepts are being brought into the market, additional difficulties in terms of implementation are met, being the roll-out of smart meters and the issues of data management interesting examples.

For more information, please contact the ESTIF Secretariat.




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