There is a pressing need to ramp up research and development (R&D) efforts to reduce costs and ensure photovoltaic (PV) cell readiness for rapid development. It is the responsibility of the government and construction industry to support long-term technology innovations for facilitating the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions across the board. Policy introductions could set up small biogas plants to handle and treat the organic wastes generated by buildings.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (technicalinsights.frost.com), Smart and Green Buildings—Top 10 Technologies, finds that both developed and developing countries are already investing substantially in PV research, development and deployment. However, more efforts seek to foster rural electrification through PV.
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"Green initiatives promoted by the US government under the leadership of Barack Obama and the European Union's drive toward energy efficiency have energized R&D activities in the field of PVs and biofuels," said Technical Insights research analyst Kumar Narasimhan. "With the allocation of funds and the implementation of energy policies that mandate the adoption of green technologies in new buildings, radical changes are expected in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency in the renewable energy segment."
In addition, tax benefits and incentives are driving technologies such as heat pumps and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs). Government policies have enabled the phasing out of the energy inefficient incandescent bulbs, leading to the promotion of energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Although market prospects look upbeat, there are some challenges stalling its momentum. The economic crisis that began at the end of 2008 led to the slowing down of the construction industry. Due to this lessening of infrastructure development, the uptake of green and smart technologies into buildings subsequently witnessed a downslide.
Apart from this, the construction industry in general is very conservative, preferring proven and reliable technologies to new ones. This poses a serious threat for the development of green and smart building technologies. Policy driven green initiatives, along with tax benefits and subsidies, have so far lured building contractors and developers to utilize smart and green technologies. For instance, in the case of lighting, the old generation would have preferred the use of incandescent bulbs instead of CFLs, had the phase out legislation not been implemented.
The current concentration of R&D in the PV sector has led to the slowing down of other energy sectors such as wind micro generation. On a general note, the rate of innovation in this green domain has shown little progress in the last year, but the current emphasis to go green could bring out a remarkable change in the next five years. Among all green building technologies, some pertinent components that exist today could become obsolete in a very short span of time. For instance, if LED becomes cost-effective and robust, it will phase out CFLs.
"With global summits repeatedly aiming to minimize energy consumption and reduce pollution, a lot more technology growth in the field of green and smart buildings can be expected in the years to come," said Narasimhan. "Positive changes are afoot as big companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have entered the energy domain and have made applications for energy monitoring."
Smart and Green Buildings—Top 10 Technologies, a part of the Technical Insights subscription, provides market drivers and restraints. The study analyzes the competitive landscape and identifies growth opportunities within the market. Further, this research service includes detailed technology analysis and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Smart and Green Buildings -- Top 10 Technologies / D23D