A look at the Mediterranean by 2030

The current trend of consumption growth in the construction sector is likely to continue in the coming decades if the state of the building stock will remain unchanged. Through two different scenarios on forecasts of trends in consumption of energy in the construction sector demonstrate that in relation to which scenario will be determined, it will radically change the consumption:

Scenario 1) Energy consumption in the building sector by 2030, assuming that the state of the current the building stock remains unchanged with the current “performance”;

Scenario 2) Energy consumption in the building sector in 2030 in the case of applications for the energy retrofits.

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The measures of energy hypothesized in the improved scenario (2) are as follows:

  • Dissemination of large scale technologies causing improvements in the efficiencies for new buildings (from 13 to 80% between 2010 and 2013 for new buildings);
  • Gradual elimination of incandescent bulbs from the market (from 20% in 2010 to 100% in 2020) and substitution with high efficiency light bulbs;
  • Energy retrofit of buildings (from 1 to 30% of the existing buildings between 2010 and 2030);
  • Use of high efficiency household appliances and air conditioning systems;
  • Use of solar thermal systems for domestic hot water (30% in existing buildings and 35% in new buildings by 2030).

The energy consumption in the residential sector will reach 100 Mtep in 2020 and about 130 in 2030. As show in the following table the implementation of the proposed improved scenario shows a potential energy savings of about 40 Mtep/yeat by the 2030.

Mtep Heating Cooling DHW Lighting Internal electrical loads Other Total
Scenario 1 58 19.6 11.5 8.9 14.4 15.8 128
Scenario 2 26.2 8.4 10.8 4.7 9.5 26 86
Reduction -55% -57% -6% -47% -34% 64% -33%

The effectiveness of the different scenarios is analyzed in detail in the next figure. The scenario that would provide the largest share of energy savings is the use of efficient envelope (more than 50% of the total).


Energy savings accumulated [Mtep] to change hypothesized

CO2 annual emissions reduction by 2030 is estimated to be about 179 Mt CO2/year. The evolution of the energy mix in the Mediterranean countries is considered and a penetration of renewable energies by about 11% (15% including hydropower) is included in the analysis.

The Limits of growth and technological innovation in the Mediterranean

Developing countries in the Mediterranean area suffer from a typical vicious cycle of dissemination of innovation. In other words: the lack of dissemination of the new solutions in the market causes a large technology ignorance among the large public. Ignorance causes an absent demand for the technology that is reflected on a lack of offers from professionals in the construction sector returning in the end again to a weak dissemination.

“Vicious” circle in the dissemination of innovation

Economic barriers are connected to low return on investment in the measures for the end users and high initial investment costs if compared to the self-financing capacity of households. The emergence of the market of sustainable building will not be solved without a determination of the stakeholders in the supply chain and key public figures. It is essential to stop the negative mechanisms ongoing in the Mediterranean countries which undermine the innovation capabilities in the construction sector.

The possible solutions

The emergence of market for sustainable building will not be resolved without a determination of the stakeholders in the supply chain and key public figures. In fact it is essential to stop the negative mechanisms ongoing in the Mediterranean countries which undermine the capacity for innovation in the construction sector. see more

Relevant actions:

  • Promote the change, suggesting modifications in the district and optimal building regulations, proposing appropriate institutional structures that allow close relationships between the various actors of the territory;
  • Implement measures of energy efficiency, through the predisposition of mechanisms and incentives that reduce the cost of the initial investment and the payback times;
  • Establish regulatory frameworks to improve the thermophysical performance of buildings;
  • Carry out wide interventions on the sector to improve the energy performance of existing buildings and use high performance envelopes for new constructions; introduce municipal regulations of the NZEB concept. In order to perform a knowledge transfer it is essential to create “local training” programs for professionals and stakeholders in the sustainable building supply chain;
  • Rethink the local energy policies through the adoption of sustainable building regulations and municipal energy plans. Encourage the adoption of solar heating applications and limit the use of electricity for domestic hot water;
  • Adopt tariffs and incentives for those who use renewable energy sources. The objective is to define a system of incentive tariffs that enhances the control of energy consumption, with a demand control perspective;
  • Develop the public – private partnership (PPP).  The strengthening of cooperation between the public and private sectors in an effective way to encourage movement of capital. The management capabilities of the private sector in addition to its natural ability to integrate into the social fabric, making it a key driver of changes within the market. The classical examples are ESCos (Energy services companies), that aim at optimizing the consumption of their customers and derive compensation from the savings they made. it is the political system “win-win” that should be pursued and offers clear benefits for both public and private sectors.
  • Facilitate the access to international and national funds,. This is not a marginal factor: energy efficiency project in the construction sector should be supported by international and national financial institutions, being able to guarantee or cover the accesso to credit;
  • Support small enterprises by helping them to understand the benefits related to energy efficiency and incentives related to it.

Our vision

The aim of the Ecodomus consortium is to perform and participate to actions leading to the decarbonisation of the construction supply chain in the Mediterranean area.

Exploiting the ancient knowledge and wisdom of Mediterranean bioclimatic architecture to propose new models of passive cooling for building applications (see Arabic architecture: Zisa in Palermo, etc).

Supporting the introduction of eco-innovative technologies and the development of smart grids.

Creating a regional network, connected to the main national, European and international experts of “green” technologies and introducing the concept of eco-efficiency through the tools and the network offered by the productive district. see more

In detail, here are some of the actions that the Consortium Ecodomus is willing to perform, in order to introduce eco-innovative technologies in the construction sector, and tho achieve the decarbonisation of the eco-profiles of buildings:

  • Disseminate the Smart Grids, both locally in the management level and in national networks;
  • Implement strategic plans to encourage the dissemination of “expertise” to the stakeholders in order to inform them about new available technologies;
  • Propose initiatives for connecting between public entities, stakeholders and businesses in the activation of research programs;
  • Create links between industry, research an market and encourage the cooperation among stakeholders in order to create knowledge and competence transfer;
  • Encourage sustainable design, in order to reduce resource consumption, through the use of technologies powered by renewable sources, the use of materials and eco-compatible techniques for costruction;
  • Support the design, construction and buildings renovation companies, in order to provide them the necessary know-how to place on operating buildings that comply with the targets set by regulations, either European, national or regional level in order to achieve the almost zero net energy buildings. The designing and construction companies of these buildings will obtain competitive results in the market, as it will offer services that will enable end users to reduce operating costs during the phases of building and can have a building that meets the normative relating energy efficiency and sustainable building;
  • Promote tools for certification of environmental products (Trade Marks and environmental labeling), environmental certification of enterprises (EMAS registration) and energy management (UNI CEN EN 50001);
  • Support by designing and providing assistance for training to companies for the action of Energy Efficiency;
  • Organize events to inform about the sector of sustainable building, to push consumers to use environmental-friendly products and services characterizes by high energy efficiency profiles ;
  • Support the public administrations to establish the minimum requirements for energy-environmental performance, to be included in building regulations, both for new constructions and renovation of existing buildings;
  • Support the enterprises in the construction sector in the definition of eco-design criteria in production processes aiming towards a reduction of their environmental impact.

The implementation of the activities mentioned above, will be a source of innovation for the manufacturing of construction products and will help to achieve the regional objectives envisaged by 20-20-20 until 2020 (decree of “burden sharing” target at 15.9% for the Sicily region in terms of overall share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy and energy share from renewable sources in transport).

Further activities (described in the following sections of the document) will be undertaken to increase the development of innovative start-ups, the internationalization of enterprises, especially in context of the development and energy efficiency diffusion in the southern Mediterranean.

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