Direct emissions from the buildings sector in the EU decreased by 24% between 2005 and 2020 and accounting for around 15% of the total EU emissions. Part of the decrease was driven by home insulation and electrification of heating. Also, the increasing share of renewables in the sector, which in 2020 covered 23% of energy demand in the buildings sector, contributed to decreasing emissions. According to the amendment of the Renewable Energy Directive proposed by the European Commission in July 2021, the share of renewables in the buildings sector should increase to 49% by 2030.
All 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed in this project see a rapid increase in the electrification rate of the buildings sector with share of electricity in energy consumed increasing from 33% in 2017 to at least 52% in 2030, and 71% in 2050. This results mostly from electrification of heating (mostly through heat pumps) and cooking. An increasing share of electricity is set to be generated from onsite PV installations thus reducing direct CO₂ emissions from energy consumption to max 176-211 MtCO₂ in 2030 and 43-78 MtCO₂/kWh in 2040 from around 420 MtCO₂ in 2019. Buildings should reach close to full decarbonisation around between 2036 and 2048 depending on the model analysed.