Transforming the Market for Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Presented by

Christian Kornevall, Director EEB project, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

About this talk

Looking to 2050, the IEA has projected scenarios with various carbon reduction levels, where the “Blue Map” scenario achieves carbon stabilization levels. The carbon abatement cost curve depicts costs versus carbon abated for a rank ordered set of abatement strategies. A carbon cost of $300/ton for all aggregated sectors will bring about the Blue Map result. However, these scenarios estimate the total cost to society, total investments, less costs and savings, not considering who pays the costs and who benefits. The analysis implicitly suggests that the lowest negative cost options will happen, thereby paying for more costly abatement measures, e.g. Improved insulation results in a net negative carbon abatement cost, which could pay for implementing a more costly renewable energy supply. A misunderstanding of the carbon abatement curve interprets it as defining the carbon price needed to meet the stated efficiency levels. Rather, we find substantial price insensitivity to carbon and correspondingly, higher carbon prices are needed to influence building sector decision making for energy efficiency measures. To determine this, the WBCSD Energy Efficiency in Buildings project (EEB project) created a model of building stock turnover to compute energy efficient technology adoption levels based on micro-economic investor stakeholder decisions. Rather than an unacceptably high market carbon price to foster change, we found that only a set of aggressive policy measures implemented together to influence decision making would bring building sector transformation to the levels needed. Since 2005 Christian is Director of the Energy Efficiency in Building Project (EEB) at the WBCSD. He is part of the GEA and member of the KM on Buildings. He is also Project Director of the WBCSD/ UII – Urban Infrastructure Initiative.

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Buildings must accommodate myriad requirements while having less environmental impact and providing useful space for working and living. You will hear best practice tips and techniques for building practical and efficient structures as well as the latest trends in emerging areas including green building, retrofitting, LEED, sustainable materials, design software, and more.