New project CoolLIFE - Open-Source Tools to Face the Increase in Buildings’ Space Cooling Demand
Heating and cooling (H&C) in buildings and industry accounts for almost half of the EU’s energy consumption, it is therefore essential to modernize the heating and cooling systems of buildings to decarbonize the EU building stock, to deploy local renewable energy potential and to reduce the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Especially due to reasons of climate change, extreme weather events as well as lifestyle and user behaviour, the space cooling needs of buildings have considerably risen from the 1990s until today and are expected to further grow until 2030 and 2050.
The new 3-years LIFE project CoolLIFE is going to be coordinated by Eurac Research and aims to provide a user-friendly and open-source tool, which will be able to map the space cooling demand of Europe’s buildings starting from a hectare (ha – 100 x 100 m) and up to continent level. The tool-user will be provided with indications on how to best cover the identified demand, promoting the implementation of innovative, integrated, best available technologies for space cooling purposes, as well as related economic and legal considerations. Besides the tool, the project will set up a “knowledge hub”, an online repository of fair and quality-controlled sources to address the lack of data on space cooling, including a review of available funding options.
This is the first time a local institution is coordinating a project of the European LIFE CET (Clean Energy Transition) programme: "This project is especially relevant in the context of the current energy crisis since it will demonstrate to what extent space cooling in the EU can be generated consuming little to no energy" says Simon Pezzutto, coordinator of the CoolLIFE project, leading a working group of seven European partners.
Natural, passive, and free cooling (including nature-based solutions) will be an important part of the investigation, due to being largely unexplored so far and their high-deployment potential. The tool will be validated by identified stakeholders and case studies in Southern, Central, and Northern Europe to provide a tested and user-friendly software based on user needs.
The project will kick off the next 8 November at NOI Techpark in Bolzano.