Selection of Renewable Energy Sources for Buildings

Selection of Renewable Energy Sources for Buildings

Hanna Irena Jędrzejuk (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4105-9.ch003


This chapter describes a general issue of selecting renewable energy sources (RES) and technical systems. To achieve the nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) standard, application of an RES (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower, and biomass energy) is necessary. Each type of RES has specific characteristics and can be used to produce electricity and/or heat in certain systems. A short review of various systems using renewable energy sources is presented. To find the required and satisfactory solution that guaranties meeting the nZEB standard, an analysis must be carried out considering a number of aspects: local availability, structure and time-dependence of energy demand, building construction, economic conditions, legal regulations, and specific requirements. Finally, two examples of modernisation towards the nZEB standard are included.
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Energy is essential for meeting various human needs. In Europe, transport, industry, households, services, fishing, agriculture, and forestry are the main sectors where energy is consumed (Figure 1). In 2010-2014, a drop in final energy consumption was observed (a total decrease of 8.8%). A similar trend can be seen in all the sectors. The smallest decrease is found in transport (3.2%), while the biggest one in fishing, agriculture, and forestry (19.6%). As far as households are concerned, a significant decrease was noticed (17.0%). In 2014, the share of households in final energy consumption was 24.8% (11.0 EJ).

Figure 1.

Final energy consumption in Europe (EU-28) by sector, Mtoe *). Period 2010–2014

IEA. Final energy.*) Mtoe - Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent. Tonne of oil equivalent - amount of energy released by burning one tone of crude oil and it is 41.868 GJ or 11.63 MWh (IEA. UC).

Energy can be obtained from primary energy sources, such as nuclear and fossil fuels, bioenergy and geothermal, direct solar, wind, hydropower, and ocean energy.

These energy sources are classified in terms of their recovery on a human time scale and divided into renewable (RES: bioenergy, geothermal, direct solar, wind, hydropower, and ocean energy) and non-renewable sources (nuclear and fossil fuels).

Redirection of energy production from conventional to renewable energy sources results in:

  • Independence from the supply of fossil fuels from countries outside the European Union,

  • Decentralization of energy sources, and

  • Expanding the labour market linked to renewable energy sources (production, installation, and maintenance).

Although renewable energy sources can generate different forms of energy (heat, mechanical, and electric), the aspect of generating electricity is most emphasized today (Directive 2003/54/EC).

In the period 2005–2015 (Figure 2), hydropower has the main share in the production of electricity. Geothermal power accounted for only a small share. During the period concerned, the growth in the use of wind energy is going to be significant (from 70.5 TWh in 2005 to 301.9 TWh in 2015). A rapid growth of solar energy (from 69.9 TWh in 2005 to 177.9 TWh in 2015) as well as biomass and renewable waste (from 1.5 TWh in 2005 to 107.9 TWh in 2015) is observed. Finally, the total amount of electricity production from renewables is going to be significant (28.8%), while in 2005 it was almost two times smaller.

Figure 2.

Electricity generated from renewable energy sources, EU-28, 2005–2015


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