Environmental footprint of the clean energy
Globally, buildings have a significant impact on the environment. Today, they consume about a third of the energy we use and produce one-fifth of global CO2 emissions. Based on current trends, this impact will intensify in the future as the world's growing population rapidly becomes more urbanized.
By 2050, we are expected to be 9.7 billion people living on the planet. With about 1.5 million people moving to the urban area each week, people are increasingly likely to live in cities where they usually spend up to 90% of their time indoors. As everyone wants a comfortable indoor environment, this creates a greater energy demand for air conditioning and heating systems. For home consumers, these energy products can be expensive. Our homes’ heating, cooling, and ventilation represent the highest energy consumption, up to 16% of total expenses for home maintenance.
Definition of energy efficiency
The term "energy efficiency" generally refers to providing the same service (for example, heating, cooling, mobility) with less energy. However, for buildings, this simple definition vastly underestimates the many additional benefits of energy efficiency, ranging from healthier and more comfortable housing to job creation, energy security, social development, improved air quality, and growth.
How can we face the challenges?
Clean energy specialists have estimated that this combination of population growth and urbanization could double or even triple the energy sector of the building sector and emissions by 2050. When the world urgently needs to reduce CO2 and improve energy efficiency, this is a seemingly impossible challenge. How is it possible for a growing, urbanized population to live sustainably?
Today, many of them lose energy, either allowing valuable heat loss in colder climates or using too much power to cool spaces in warmer areas. Current energy efficiency technology can already make a big difference: adequate insulation will help save up to 70% of heating needs for buildings. By renovating existing buildings and ensuring that new ones meet high-performance standards, we can significantly reduce CO2 emissions, even as urban populations grow.
When environmental goals are more important than ever, improving the energy efficiency of buildings is an immediate opportunity to make our cities healthier, safer, and more sustainable.