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European energy context

The European energy context makes it possible to understand the challenges related to the energy optimisation of buildings.

Europe consumes 1/5 of the world’s energy but has few hydrocarbon resources and therefore imports most of its energy. Indeed, in 2016 more than half of gross domestic energy consumption came from imports, making Europe the world’s largest energy importer.

As regards to electricity production, the main source in 2015 was nuclear energy with 26.5%.

Renewable energy provides an increasing share of the energy used in Europe. Indeed it rose from 9% in 2005 to nearly 17% in 2015. This can be explained in particular by a reduction in the costs of renewable energy technologies, and the policies or programmes set up to promote their development. It should be pointed out that the objective is to reach 20% of renewable energies by 2020. However, fossil fuels remain for now on the main energy in Europe with more than 72% in 2015.

The most energy-intensive sector in Europe is transport (32%). This includes road, air, river, sea and rail transport. Then it comes the construction sector (residential and tertiary) with 27%. In third and fourth place come the industry sector (25%) and services (13%).

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The building sector is therefore the second most energy-intensive sector in Europe. It is essential to improve the energy performance of buildings. Not only to reduce energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions, but also to address fuel poverty. Indeed, about 26 million European citizens do not manage to heat their homes properly in winter.