Heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency, and sector integration

Efficiency First – Ermittlung des Wertes der Energieeffizienz im Gebäudesektor in Zeiten der Sektorkopplung

  • Project Duration: 03/2017 - 06/2018

The system value of efficiency in the buildings sector in times of sector integration: How to achieve the climate protection targets at least cost for the economy and what is the cost reduction effect of energy efficiency in the buildings sector in this context?

For the efficiency debate in times of sector integration it is important to analyse: What mix of infrastructure and technologies in the electricity-heat sector in 2050 results in a cost-optimized solution and what is the value of energy efficiency in this context?

The Power System Benefits Study (Agora, ECF, RAP 2014) has already identified the efficiency gains for the electricity sector (-> system value 11-15 cents per saved electric kWh; this means that many efficiency measures are much cheaper, therefore its implementation is meaningful from an economic perspective).

The new Heat System Benefits Study determines the long-term system value of efficiency and added cost of inadequate demand reduction in the heat and/ or buildings sector, followed by: prioritise transformation pathways according to their costs and sequence of required investments, taking into account investment cycles to cost-effectively decarbonise the heat and/ or buildings sector.

Objectives of the study

  • To determine the value of efficiency investments in the building sector, taking into account the overall climate protection targets for 2050 and compensatory measures to be taken in the other sectors to meet the targets when the building sector fails
  • To prioritise possible transformation pathways according to their costs, followed by:
  • To derive and to optimize potential options for action, while taking into account the investment cycle of measures and their interaction (i.e. heating networks vs. individual investments).

Conclusions will include cost reduction effects from building renovations compared to (specific) additional costs from missing the reduction targets in the buildings sector caused by compensating the gap with more renewables in the other sectors, or subsequent (delayed) efficiency measures – outside reinvestment cycles – if renewables can’t be provided to a sufficient extent.

Result: Policy recommendations

For the development of a target model/ a roadmap to 2050: The actions to be taken as “no-regret“ measures and the “lock-in“ measures to be avoided/ corrected (policy measures, investments -> Efficiency1st!)

  • How effective are existing policy frameworks and how do they need to evolve?
  • How effective are economic instruments, and where is regulation more economically efficient?
  • What does that mean for the European regulatory framework for building efficiency?

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