Economic feasibility of building retrofitting mitigation potentials: Climate change uncertainties for Swedish cities
Journal article, 2019

Deep and rapid decarbonization of the building sector requires energy demand reductions and the incorporation of renewable-energy sources. Energy retrofitting of existing buildings is a central strategy in climate mitigation and has often been highlighted as a cost-effective strategy. However, decisions on these strategies are often hampered by modeling assessments that are limited by contextual, methodological, parametric, input, or output constraints. Here, we present a novel methodology to investigate the solid economic feasibility in building retrofit evaluations with mitigation measures. We first calculate the variations in the energy saving potentials and costs for 13 energy saving measures and five climate change scenarios. We then compare the obtained uncertainty due to a changing climate to other uncertainties, such as the boundaries for emission inventories and energy system development.

Four cities in Sweden are modeled, which are responsible for half of the country’s residential energy use. We find that the profitability of the retrofitting actions is primarily determined based on the annualized investments and energy saving potentials. Future climate has a less determinant role, with uncertainties similar to those of future consumer price development and fuel emission factors. Retrofits that only affect the energy need for space heating are more robust than changes in electricity usage. We conclude that strategies for building retrofitting should focus on prioritizing energy savings and mobilizing investments that may not be profitable based on the current techno-economic perspective.

Author

Erika Mata

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Joel Wanemark

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Vahid Nik

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Lund University

Angela Sasic Kalagasidis

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Applied Energy

0306-2619 (ISSN)

Vol. 242 1022-1035

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Energy

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

DOI

10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.03.042

More information

Latest update

2/18/2021