There are eight IEA Buildings-related Technology Collaboration Programmes, coordinated through the IEA Buildings Coordination Group, and include:
Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC)
Approximately one-third of end-use energy consumption in IEA Member countries occurs in residential, commercial and public buildings. Uses include heating, cooling, lighting, appliances, and general services. Buildings are therefore a major demand on energy resources and the emissions associated with supplying and consuming this energy make up an important component of total emissions. Despite a general improvement in the thermal performance of buildings, much energy is still inefficiently used.
A new international collaborative programme to promote wider use of more energy-efficient electrical equipment. Using energy efficient equipment is the most cost-effective short-term path to greater energy security and lower greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. The IEA estimates that energy-efficiency improvements could contribute 47% of reductions in energy-related CO2 emissions potentially achievable by 2030. Electrical equipment is produced and traded on a global scale. Very substantial gains are possible if energy-efficiency issues are addressed through international cooperation and interaction, being crucial when responding to governments' need for guidance. This new Implementing Agreement may constitute an essential collaborative tool.
Energy storage technologies are a strategic and necessary component for the efficient utilization of renewable energy sources and energy conservation. There is a great technical potential to substitute for burning fossil fuels by using stored heat that would otherwise be wasted and using renewable generation resources.
The Heat Pump Programme is the foremost worldwide source of independent information and expertise on heat pump, refrigeration and air-conditioning systems for buildings, commerce and industry. Its international collaborative activities to improve energy efficiency and minimise adverse environmental impact are highly valued by stakeholders.
The Solar Heating and Cooling Implementing Agreement was one of the first collaborative R&D programmes to be established within the IEA, and, since 1977, its participants have been conducting a variety of joint projects in advance active solar, passive solar and photovoltaic technologies and their application in buildings and other areas, such as agriculture and industry. The overall Programme is monitored by an Executive Committee consisting of one representative from each of the 18 member countries and the European Commission.
Increasing end-use energy efficiency and expanding use of renewable energy are generally recognised as key requirements for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG), promoting sustainable development and reducing vulnerability to supply disruptions. Often overlooked is the critical role that District Heating and Cooling (DHC) can play in meeting these goals by reducing fossil fuel consumption by facilitating productive use of waste heat from industrial processes, electricity generation, waste incineration or renewable energy sources.
The IEA DSM Programme promotes energy efficiency and demand-side management for global sustainable development and for business opportunities.
The Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme is a collaborative R&D TCP conducting projects on the application of solar photovoltaic electricity. IEA - PVPS operates worldwide via a network of national teams in member countries. The mission of the PVPS programme is “To enhance the international collaboration efforts through which photovoltaic solar energy becomes a significant renewable energy source in the near future.” The underlying assumption is that the market for PV systems will gradually expand from the present niche markets of remote applications and consumer products, to the utility market, through building-integrated and other diffused and centralized PV generation systems. This market expansion requires the availability of and access to reliable information on the performance of PV systems, design guidelines, planning methods, etc. to be shared with the various actors defined above.