Cool buildings harness the sun

The EU is proposing new legislation to curb pollution from tractors, construction equipment and other non-road machinery, including inland boats and diesel trains.

The Basque Energy Authority (EVE) has joined forces with organisations from seven European countries to persuade new offices to install solar-powered air conditioning systems. The project, known as Climasol, is part of the European ALTENER programme to promote renewable energy and encourage accession countries to adopt clean energy strategies.

Climasol will pool information on existing clean technologies across Europe and set up 20 viability studies to demonstrate how offices could switch to solar air conditioning.

Both renewable energy and energy efficiency are central themes of the EU’s energy policy. The European Commission’s directive on the energy performance of buildings recently came into force, prompted by a sharp rise in the number of air-conditioning units being installed in Southern European countries (see related story).

According to EVE, European growth in demand for and energy consumption by air conditioning has become exponential, and must be met with sustainable solutions.

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