D 3.8 Report on decarbonisation in residential and services sectors


The buildings sector represents an essential component of the European energy system. In 2015, the sector consumed 38% of the European final energy. Buildings accounted for 15% of CO2 emissions, when considering only on-site emissions, and 34% when also including induced emissions from energy supply (e.g. emissions from the generation of electricity consumed in buildings). While the high level of energy consumption in buildings is a challenge for decarbonisation, it is also an opportunity as many options exist to decrease energy demand and emissions in this sector. The model developments undertaken in the INNOPATHS project and the resulting scenario analyses in Deliverable 3.8 allowed gaining important insight regarding the mitigation potential and policies in the sector:

  • The global energy landscape will undergo a paradigm change
  • A combination of technological and behavioural changes can deliver large energy demand reductions
  • The economic potential of energy efficiency is important, especially in the long term, but might be smaller than expected in the short term
  • Policies to reduce energy demand should not be delayed and should be comprehensive
  • A variety of policies is necessary to reduce energy demand, with trade-offs between economic efficiency and equity