Next Generation renovations under the microscopea failure or success?

  1. Juan María Hidalgo-Betanzos 1
  2. Laura Angulo Ortíz de Zárate 1
  3. Isabel Sellens-Fernández 1
  4. Carlos García-Gáfaro 1
  5. Ana Picallo-Pérez 1
  1. 1 ENEDI Research Group. University of the Basque Country. Department of Energy Engineering. Faculty of Engineering of Bilbao
EESAP14 International Conference 2023, 4-5 October, Donostia – San Sebastián. Proceedings book

Publisher: Servicio Editorial = Argitalpen Zerbitzua ; Universidad del País Vasco = Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

ISBN: 978-84-1319-603-9

Year of publication: 2023

Pages: 64-74

Congress: Congreso Europeo sobre Eficiencia Energética y Sostenibilidad en Arquitectura y Urbanismo (14. 2023. San Sebastián)

Type: Conference paper


The need for accelerating building renovations has driven European regulations in the last decade. After the COVID-19 crisis, the European rescue plan dedicated a very significant amount to promote existing building decarbonization. These public investments, also known as Next Generation grants, were published in the Spanish regulation framework in 2021 and offered financing for renovations through six main programs that can cover more than half of the investment costs. The most relevant program funds renovations that could justify reductions of 30% in heating and cooling demand and savings in non-renewable primary energy, to reach three main objectives: 30%, 45%, or 60%. However, despite this comprehensive economic support, the Spanish society is still hesitating to conduct these major renovations and the agents or participants in these processes are struggling to achieve the renovation goals. Under this challenging scenario, this study analyses the reasons behind this lack of action in the building renovations and formulates future improvements that could help speed up the current renovation ratios. To do that, a workshop was organised with all the actors involved in these processes to share and evaluate the building renovation difficulties during the Next Generation EU funds. This event was coordinated by the Basque Government’s Laboratory for the Quality Control in Buildings on the 21st of March of 2023 in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The workshop gathered more than 90 participants and experts from different stakeholders. The results of the workshop describe the situation of the sector in detail. First, a detailed analysis of the current situation of the building renovations and the grant numbers was done, compared to the existing literature. Also, the expected numbers, dates, and planned scenarios. Second, the ideas commented on in the two round tables were studied following the seven chapters or sections, which include the experience of different stakeholders, administrative procedure, financing, stakeholder communication, technical requirements, quality control of the works, and future perspectives. One of the most interesting outcomes was the identification of the main barriers that hinder building renovations. These difficulties and/or limitations were listed and sorted by their relevance. Additionally, as the event was broadcasted live, there was an online communication tool to help gather comments from more than 40 online participants and complemented the debates of the round table and the room audience. This online tool included a survey to make a quantitative assessment of the previous questions, and the answers from 42 participants outline the situation and underline the debates of the workshop. After the event, there was a post-processing process of the data using the survey, the video recording, and the notes from the workshop. Among others, the lessons learned from the participants are highlighted and the future potential improvements are described. The conclusions of this workshop and the ulterior study are relevant as they show the ugly truth of the renovation sector and help identify success stories and failures, that must be overcome if we aim to achieve decarbonization before 2050.