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Cooperation for climate-friendly developments: An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5409-8950
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4589-7045
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3831-0886
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5277-4567
2016 (English)In: Energy Efficiency, ISSN 1570-646X, E-ISSN 1570-6478, Vol. 9, no 2, 353-370 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Buildings account for more than 40 % of the total energy demand in the European Union (EU). The energy sector is responsible for 80 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, of which more than a third are emitted as a result of energy use in buildings. Given these numbers and the large potential for energy savings in buildings, the energy and buildings sectors emerged as key contributors to fulfilling the European climate targets. Effective cooperation between these two key sectors can contribute significantly to the efficacy of the European climate strategy. However, there may be factors that negatively impact the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors and put cooperation in climate-friendly developments at risk. Based on 23 semi-structured interviews and a web survey answered by key stakeholders, this paper provides a snapshot of the current level of cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden and identifies factors that impact the interdependencies between the two sectors.

The findings show that the current business models in energy supply and the regulations in place limit the development of mutually beneficial cases between the energy and buildings sectors. This paper contributes to improved knowledge for policymaking that affects both sectors and highlights issues for further study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 9, no 2, 353-370 p.
Keyword [en]
Buildings sector; energy sector; energy efficiency
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28689DOI: 10.1007/s12053-015-9369-8ISI: 000373148300006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84931846830OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-28689DiVA: diva2:924184
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 244-2011-231
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2017-01-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change is one of the global challenges of our time. The energy sector is at the focus of the European efforts to combat climate change as it accounts for 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. Buildings, on the other hand, represent 40% of the energy use and 33% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, giving the buildings sector also a key role in the European climate strategy. There are, at the same time, strong interdependencies between the energy and buildings sectors due to the high amount of energy used by buildings and their rising importance as active components in the future energy systems. These interdependencies do not only influence the investment decisions in the energy and buildings sectors, but also the effectiveness of the European climate strategy. Cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors can create beneficial outcomes for the both sectors as well as the environment. It may also encourage innovation, improve the energy performance of buildings, and help achieve a higher penetration of renewable energy into the energy system.

This licentiate thesis investigates the relationship between the energy and buildings sector at the inter-company level. Presenting the data collected from interviews and a web survey answered by the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden, this thesis examines the level of cooperation between these two sectors, discusses trust issues between stakeholders, presents the factors that negatively impact cooperation, and provides recommendations for the minimisation of these factors.

The findings presented in this thesis indicate an insufficient level of cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden, to which the following factors have been identified to contribute in a negative a way: district heating monopolies; energy efficiency in buildings; building regulations; self-generation of electricity; and energy use patterns. The emphasis on self-interest by stakeholders within the both sectors appears to create trust issues between stakeholders. Accordingly, shifting the focus from self-gains to mutual gains is deemed necessary to improve the cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors. This, however requires significant changes in current practices and business models. It has been identified that the development of smart energy systems that allow a closer interaction between the energy and buildings sectors through flexible energy supply and use would minimise many of the factors that negatively impact cooperation.

Abstract [sv]

Klimatförändringen är en av de stora globala utmaningar vi står inför. I Europa läggs idag stort fokus på energisektorn, som står för 80 procent av det totala utsläppen av växthusgaser. Byggnader representerar 40 procent av energianvändningen och 33 procent av växthusutsläppen, vilket också ger byggsektorn en nyckelroll i den europeiska klimatstrategin. Samtidigt finns det starka beroendeförhållanden mellan energi- och byggsektorn på grund av den höga energianvändningen i byggnader och deras ökade betydelse som en aktiv komponent i det framtida energisystemet. Dessa beroendeförhållanden påverkar inte bara investeringsbeslut i de båda sektorerna, utan även effektiviteten i den europeiska klimatstrategin. Samarbete mellan energi- och byggsektorn kan få positiva effekter för både dem själva såväl som för miljön. Samarbete mellan sektorerna kan även uppmuntra innovation, förbättra energieffektiviteten i byggnader och tillåta en högre användning av förnyelsebar energi i energisystemet. 

Denna licentiatavhandling utforskar förhållandet mellan energi- och byggsektorn på företagsnivå genom att analysera data som samlats in med hjälp av intervjuer och en webbaserad enkät.  Intervjuer och enkäter har besvarades av både energi- och byggsektorerna i Sverige. Denna avhandling studerar nivån av samarbete mellan de två sektorerna, diskuterar problem gällande förtroende mellan intressenter, presenterar de identifierade faktorer som försvårar samarbete och ger rekommendationer för att minimera dessa.

Resultatet visar på en otillräcklig nivå av samarbete mellan energi- och byggsektorerna i Sverige. De faktorer som försvårar samarbetet är följande: fjärrvärmemonopol; energieffektivitet i byggnader; byggregler, egenproduktion av el och användarmönster. Naturligt finns ett egenintresse hos olika intressenter inom de båda sektorerna, och detta tycks ha skapat ett förtroendeproblem mellan de olika sektorerna Att byta fokus från egen vinning till gemensamma mål bedöms vara nödvändigt för att öka samarbetet mellan energi- och byggsektorerna. Detta fodrar dock stora förändringar både i nuvarande verksamhet samt i affärsmodellerna. Det har påvisats att utvecklandet av smarta energisystem som tillåter en större interaktion mellan energi- och byggsektorerna genom flexibel energiförsörjning och användning skulle minimera många av de faktorer som inverkar negativt på samarbetet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 215
Keyword
energy sector; buildings sector; energy efficiency
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28693 (URN)978-91-7485-222-6 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-10-05, Delta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 244-2011-231
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2017-09-14Bibliographically approved
2. Building as active elements of energy systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building as active elements of energy systems
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Buildings account for approximately 40% of the energy demand and 33% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. Accordingly, there are several efforts that target energy efficiency in buildings both at the European and Swedish levels. The role of buildings in climate change mitigation, however, is not limited to energy savings. Buildings are expected to become key elements of the future smart energy systems by supplying and using energy in a more flexible way. Reducing the energy demand in buildings effectively and shifting the role of buildings in energy systems from ‘passive’ consumers to ‘active’ prosumers, however, require close interaction and cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors.

Based on the data collected from interviews and a web survey, this doctoral thesis investigates the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden at the inter-company level, presents key stakeholder views on smart energy features in buildings and investigates the opportunities and barriers for their adoption in Sweden and Hong Kong.

The results of this thesis suggest a potential for improving the cooperation between the Swedish energy and buildings sectors, which was identified to be influenced by the following factors: district heating monopolies; energy efficiency efforts in the buildings sector; unsuccessful technology-neutrality of the building regulations; self-generation systems in buildings; and energy use patterns. Shifting the focus from self-gains to mutual gains appears crucial to strengthen the inter-sectoral cooperation, as there are several opportunities for achieving mutually beneficial solutions for the two sectors. This would, however, require significant changes in current practices and business models as well as the introduction of new technologies, which would allow for a more flexible energy supply and use. Accordingly, technologies that target flexible energy use in buildings are considered the most important smart energy features in buildings. The current high costs of technologies, such as home automation and smart electrical appliances, however, create the strongest barrier to adoption. Therefore, the introduction of new business and ownership models and the elimination of the institutional and regulatory barriers are crucial to achieve a wide-scale development of smart energy features in buildings. The results from Hong Kong suggest that institutional and regulatory barriers can particularly create strong hinders to the adoption of technologies.

It is possible to achieve more sustainable energy systems, where buildings are active elements of networks that supply and use energy in a more flexible and ‘smarter’ way. Cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors can play a key role in the adoption of smart energy features in buildings and pave the way for the smart built environment of the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2016
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 212
Keyword
smart grid; smart home; cooperation; energy; buildings
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33317 (URN)978-91-7485-286-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-11, Alfa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 244-2011-231
Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2016-11-08Bibliographically approved

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