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Site: http://phys.org/technology-news/

Recent research suggests that policymakers would benefit from analyzing further how homeowners think about renovation. Charlie Wilson, a lecturer at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, led a study published in 2015 in the journal Energy Research and Social Science concerning homeowner decision making with regards to renovations. The study included interviews with homeowners, an extensive review of published articles and reports, and a survey of 1,028 homeowners in the U.K. Traditionally, companies or authorities seeking to encourage homeowners to undertake energy efficiency measures identify three groups of barriers that must be overcome: Financial barriers such as capital availability; information barriers such as uncertainties about contractor reliability; and decision making barriers including the reluctance to make complex and irreversible decisions. However, Wilson says that this approach may not accurately describe how homeowners consider renovation decisions. "I'm not a major fan of thinking about this in terms of barriers," he says. "People aren't sitting around the kitchen table saying 'I want to make my home more energy efficient but these barriers are getting in the way, if only there was a good policy that would remove these barriers.' People are more saying, 'It would be good if we could make that room more air-tight, or that room a bit less damp and draughty so we can make it a child's playroom.' People are asking how they can best adapt their home to meet their needs." Wilson explains that many policies designed to encourage energy efficient home renovations miss an opportunity by treating them as discrete, one-off renovations. He believes the key to increasing energy efficiency measures is for them to accompany more general renovation projects. "The challenge is how can we 'piggyback' energy efficiency measures into that vast amount of home renovation activity which is going on every day in Europe," he says. "Imagine that you are going ahead with a 10,000 pound kitchen refurbishment and the supplier or builder says 'By the way, there is this new scheme that means while we do your whole kitchen we can do a bunch of insulation measures and put in new windows so your home will be more energy efficient—this will go on to your energy bill and you pay it back over time.' "The research that we did showed that people were far more likely to go for that kind of policy support." Karine Laffont, an engineer and consultant at French innovation management firm Technofi, agrees that attempting to bundle efficiency measures in with general renovations would prove successful. "Energy does not cost enough —at least in France—to put energy issues at the top of the agenda for households," she says. "And I don't think raising environmental concerns is enough to make people renovate." "If people are already planning on making some home improvements to increase their comfort in terms of living space, acoustics, aesthetics or humidity for example, and if there is a business model that is in place that can help them make those renovations in an energy efficient way that will not cost much, then I think they will do so." Laffont also points to energy contracting as a further way to increase energy retrofits on a larger scale, such as targeting whole apartment blocks. She is collaborating with BRESAER, a European project that is developing a retrofit design that aims to deliver near zero energy performance to existing buildings via the use of building envelope technologies including dynamic windows, insulation panels and photovoltaic modules integrated into a structural mesh. "We had a look at what kind of business model would mitigate [financial barriers] and what we identified is the energy contracting model," Laffont says. Through agreements between housing associations, builders and manufactures, energy contracting models—such as EnergieSprong in the Netherlands—can deliver energy retrofits to groups of houses or apartment blocks with no upfront payment for occupants. "The contractor takes over the commercial, technical and operational risks of the project," Laffont says, "And the contractor will also guarantee the performance of the outcome." While zero energy new builds are now commonplace, existing buildings will make up an estimated 70 percent of Europe's building stock in 2050, indicating that encouraging homeowners to undertake energy efficiency measures is a crucial part of a low-carbon future. Explore further: Smartphone app helps home owners on the way to energy efficiency


Galant S.,Technofi | Peirano E.,Technofi | Debarberis L.,Institute for Energy and Transport of the Netherlands
Power Systems | Year: 2013

This present chapter aims at positioning storage technologies with respect to the current market designs and regulatory schemes, thus investigating ways and means to ease a cost-effective, market-based deployment and operation, with a special attention paid to Europe. This approach should help in avoiding any a priori opinion favouring long-term investments in storage systems. Indeed, future electricity systems will face challenges such as significant increases in variability and intermittency of generation, the rapid growth of distributed energy/power resources including distributed generation, the penetration of electric vehicles and controllable demand and deployment of smart appliances enabling active demand response. A growing interplay between transmission and distribution levels will then be necessary. Future power systems will therefore need a properly designed, market-based system architecture allowing for decarbonisation while ensuring system reliability and security of supply. Electricity storage is one among several options to provide system services such as capacity firming, back-up capacity, voltage and frequency regulation. Implementing electricity storage solutions thus requires an in-depth understanding of possible services that electricity storage can meet, along with several other grid and generation- and demand-side assets. © Springer-Verlag London Limited 2013. Source


L'Abbate A.,RSE SpA | Migliavacca G.,REALISEGRID Project | Migliavacca G.,Transmission Planning Research Group | Pagano T.,Technofi | Vafeas A.,Technofi
2011 IEEE PES Trondheim PowerTech: The Power of Technology for a Sustainable Society, POWERTECH 2011 | Year: 2011

The progressive re-engineering of the European power transmission system will involve a spectrum of innovative technologies. Their level of application by Transmission System Operators (TSOs) will vary from one control area to the other, also based on past experiences and today's operation constraints. The present paper introduces a Technology Integration Roadmap, developed within the European research project REALISEGRID, with the aim to analyze the evolution of advanced transmission technologies over the next three decades towards their integration into the European power system. This roadmap is based upon a systemic approach which takes into due account two knowledge elements: the transmission system perspective and the technological perspective. It is organized into high level technology components based on a common long-term vision of the European electricity network by 2030, the critical system challenges driving that vision and the overall benefits expected from the implementation of this spectrum of technologies. The present paper proposes an Action Agenda for the next three decades, with potential integration trajectories including milestones as seen by TSOs and manufacturers respectively. © 2011 IEEE. Source


Ronde H.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Ranne A.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Peirano E.,Technofi | Byrne I.,National Energy Foundation | Duc H.L.,ECC
Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference and Utility Exhibition on Power and Energy Systems: Issues and Prospects for Asia, ICUE 2011 | Year: 2012

The European Union Framework Programme 7- ENERFISH project ( www.enerfish.eu) aims to demonstrate a new poly-generation application with renewable energy sources for the fishery industry in Vietnam. From the energy viewpoint, the fish processing plant can be made energy self-sufficient, when the fish waste oil is processed in a biodiesel processor and further converted to electricity and heat in a CHP unit. The ENERFISH advanced CO2 based freezing/cooling © 2011 IEEE. Source


Migliavacca G.,ENEA | L'Abbate A.,ENEA | Losa I.,ENEA | Galant S.,Technofi | And 14 more authors.
43rd International Conference on Large High Voltage Electric Systems 2010, CIGRE 2010 | Year: 2010

In Europe different trends and issues, mostly related to the electricity industry liberalisation and the growing deployment of variable Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity (RES-E), strongly impact the electric power system, and in particular the transmission system. This poses new challenges to the TSOs (Transmission System Operators), whose role becomes more complex. In this frame, transmission expansion planning criteria crucially need to be revised and expanded in order to design flexible, coordinated and secure transmission networks based on modern architectural schemes and including innovative technological solutions. More robust methodologies for transmission planning must be pursued to address the challenges faced by TSOs. The present paper results from the research activities ongoing within the REALISEGRID project, cofunded by the European Commission. This document, after reviewing the major issues of current transmission planning practices in Europe, focuses on the methodology developed within REALISEGRID project to address the cost-benefit analysis of new transmission grid investments in a pan-European perspective. This evaluation, which is a crucial stage of the transmission expansion planning process, also needs to take into account innovative power transmission technologies. Source

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