Current Glazing Technology Could Create Massive Energy Savings in Europe

If high-performance glazing was installed in all buildings in the European Union, it would have the potential to deliver up to 75.5 Mtoe* of energy savings in 2030. That’s according to the “Glazing Potential: Energy Savings & CO2 Emission Reduction” report by Dutch-based independent research institute TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, commissioned by Glass for Europe.

The report analyzes two scenarios: all windows being replaced in 2030 with readily available high-performance glazing and then all windows being replaced again in 2050 with improved high-performance glazing.

The report’s savings estimate for 2030 and 2050 shows that replacing old glazing technology with today’s high-performance glazing could create major energy savings, even more so than if today’s technology was later replaced with even more efficient glazing in 2050. According to the report, the massive savings potential created by replacing all windows with today’s high-performance glazing in 2030 can be attributed to the fact that Europe’s current buildings are mostly equipped with dated, inefficient glazing.

“Glazing can now be selected to offer the best energy balance between thermal insulation properties (Uw value) and ability to capture or repeal solar heat gains (g value). With the adequate type of glazing, energy savings are maximized in all building types and under all climatic conditions,” reads the report.

It also points out that windows are “long-lasting products that stay in buildings for over 40 years on average. Once properly installed and maintained, they offer stable energy performance throughout their lifetimes, thus energy savings will be realized for several decades.”

The report concludes that nearly half of the maximum saving potential identified for 2030 could be realized in ten years by doubling the window renovation rate with high-performance glazing.

The current window replacement rate across Europe is approximately 2%. Doubling the renovation rate would bring it to 4% per year and the worst performing windows would be prioritized for replacement.

“For this potential to materialize, more renovation must go hand-in-hand with the installation of glazing whose performance are optimized for building types and locations,” reads the report.

Using high-performance glazing can also mitigate the need for cooling in buildings. Adequately using high-performance solar-control glazing could result in a 27% reduction in energy consumption used to cool buildings all across Europe in 2050, according to the findings. The report points out that the installation of cooling equipment in Europe’s buildings is expected to increase dramatically by 2050 in both residential and commercial buildings. High-performance solar-control glass increases comfort and minimizes the heat load and need for air-conditioning, something the report recommends taking into account when replacing windows.

“What is most outstanding is that because windows stay on buildings for decades, the amount of CO2 avoided over several years grows exponentially. For instance, between 2020 and 2030, a doubling of window renovation rates would avoid the release of above 240 million tonnes of CO2. This is more CO2 saved than was emitted in 2016 by all the Baltic States, Finland, Sweden and Denmark together,” reads the report.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

The report includes several policy recommendations intended to achieve the massive potential for energy savings and CO2 avoidance thanks to high-performance glazing. The recommendations include:
• Actions to moderate buildings’ energy consumption to achieve
CO2 emission savings;
• Taking actions to save energy today rather than later;
• Increasing the building renovation rate; and
• Creating policy actions that steer markets toward high-performance glazing.

*Mtoe stands for million tonnes of oil equivalent. A tonne of oil equivalent is equal to the amount of energy released by burning one tonne of crude oil, according to the University of Calgary.

**MtCO2 is metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Clarification

In the May 2019 issue of USGlass magazine in the article “Printing Progress: Developments in Digital and Direct-to-Glass Printing” on pages 52-53, it should be noted that GGI purchased its direct-to-glass printing machine in 2008 from Dip-Tech and continues to use the manufacturer’s equipment.

NSG Group and Ubiquitous Energy Collaborate on Transparent Solar Windows Development

NSG Group has formed a joint development agreement between its subsidiary, Pilkington, and Ubiquitous Energy, a transparent solar technology company. The ongoing joint agreement targets the development, manufacturing and integration of Ubiquitous Energy’s ClearView Power technology into architectural window glass that has the potential to produce solar electricity for buildings. NSG’s participation includes ongoing research and development and technical support.

Ubiquitous Energy’s transparent solar coating, ClearView Power, selectively absorbs and converts non-visible light (ultraviolet and infrared) to electricity while transmitting visible light. The transparent solar coating can be applied directly to architectural windows during the standard glass manufacturing process, allowing buildings to generate their own onsite renewable energy as part of the building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) market.

“Having worked with Ubiquitous Energy for some time now, we have been impressed with ClearView Power’s differentiation amongst BIPV products, and in particular, its proven ability to meet the aesthetic demands of mass market glazing products that are acceptable to architects, designers and occupants,” says Stephen Weidner, NSG vice president of sales and marketing architectural and technical glass products. “We have witnessed first-hand the company’s steady progress toward commercialization and we look forward to working together closely with Ubiquitous to bring this technology to the market.”

“As we continue to build our ecosystem of partnerships across the glass industry, we are thrilled to work with NSG to help bring ClearView Power to market as part of the more than 9 billion square meters per year of annual global glass production,” adds Ubiquitous Energy CEO Keith Wilson. “NSG brings a wealth of unique knowledge to our development efforts as a global leader in advanced architectural window glass products. It also has experience in bringing BIPV products to market. We have hit a number of key milestones together over the past year and are excited to publicly announce this partnership.”

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.