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Energy policy, or climbing up the ladder, which...

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dipl. eng. Sergey STOYANOV, MSc, chairman of Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria (CISB)

 

 

In March 2007, the European Union (EU) leaders endorsed and integrated approach to climate and energy policy that aims to combat climate change and increase the EUs energy security while strengthening its competitiveness. They committed Europe to transforming itself into a highly-efficient, low carbon economy.

 

To kick-start this process, the EU Heads of State and Government set a series of demanding climate and energy targets to be met by 2020, known as the 20-20-20 targets. These are:

o   A reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% below 1990 levels

o   20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources

o   A 20% reduction in primary energy use compared with projected levels, to be achieved by improving energy efficiency.

 

The goals of the programme are common for all member states, but the ways for achieving these targets are different, as well as the positions that they start from.

 

How do we need to deal with these targets and where are we in this process?

 

Taking such decisions is determined by past and upcoming events. A retrospection of economic development and its relation to energy sources, as well as the development of the normative regulations in Bulgaria are shown in Table 1.

 

The table describes the course of the average monthly salary for the last 50 years column 3.

 

In the same table column 4 shows the development of the price of crude oil.

Column 5 demonstrates the reference values of the heat transfer coefficient through surrounding surfaces /walls/ of buildings in Bulgaria, legally recorded for the relevant periods.

 

The most interesting column 6, reflects the development of purchasing power of the population in Bulgaria, related to the price of crude oil.

 

All data reflected in the table is taken from official sources and the following conclusions can be derived:

In the last 50 years, the price of the main energy source, represented in absolute value, has risen more than 38 times, or 3800%. The prices increase or fall depending on economic or political factors that need to be taken into account and consideration. In our climate zone, the costs for heating throughout the winter period vary between 50-70% from the overall heat losses of a household for the year. If we add the costs for hot water, we can see how significant is the share of the expenses for household heating energy around 40% from the total heating energy in the country.

 

The purchasing power /competitiveness/ of the population, reflected through the average monthly salary has never been so low, as it is in the last 10 years.

 

Looking at the heating/cooling energy expenses of a building in relation to its thermal characteristics, we need to increase the insulation of the surrounding surfaces /walls/ in accordance to the requirements of the passive houses in order to achieve the level of thermal comfort back from 40 years ago.

 

What is, however, the real situation in Bulgaria up to date?

Practices perceive installation of insulation from expanded polystyrene (EPS) or extruded penopolystirene (XPS). Insulation thickness is around 50 mm and these types of insulations are massively used in the construction. The main reason for this so called bulgarian model of thermal insulations is the relatively low price. In common cases, the price of materials for thermal insulations is commensurable to the price of installation. Scaffolding with subsequent installation needs to be constructed for all types of insulations. In this case, using Styrofoam as insulation, the price of the material is lower than the costs for installation. Should we install a thermal insulation 100 mm thick, instead of 50 mm, the price would rise by only 20%, since the construction of scaffolding and labor remain unchanged, but the heat losses would decrease 2 times, i.e. increasing the investment will reduce the ROI period.

 

The question that remains open is the longevity of the thermal insulation and its commensurability to the building exploitation period. The cited materials are not the most appropriate example for reliable insulation not only as longevity, but as fire safety as well.

 

What is the problem then and how can it be solved?

-     the first issue is that the construction company /entrepreneur/ and the owner of the building are more often than not two different subjects with different interests the construction company /entrepreneur/ seeks minimum cost/expenditures, while the owner minimum costs for exploitation. In most cases, the buyer is faced with a fait accompli;

-     the second issue represents swimming along the requirements for residential construction at this stage would have been suitable for the period before the Gulf war. With average annual fuel price increase for the last 25 years with around 25% on an annual base and with the projections for persistence of the these temps until the end of the 20-20-20 programme, we again find ourselves unprepared for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

 

Considering these issues, related to the continued growth of the energy sources prices and complying with the requirements for reduction of emissions, energy consumption and using renewable energy sources, the EU requires the introduction of minimum criteria in construction industry in all member states. These requirements are reflected in Directive 2010/31/EU of the European parliament and the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings/.

 

Taking into account previous and current Directives, most of the member states introduced criteria, concerning thermal insulations, using renewable energy sources such as solar panels, thermal pumps to supply heating and air conditioning systems, wind generators and other devices for integration in buildings.

 

Where are we in this process?

 

o       Significant part of the efforts was pointed towards building photovoltaic farms, whose operation results in high value. The energy, used for production of these farms, is many times greater than the energy that will be received from them throughout their whole lifecycle. Therefore, these renewable energy sources do not decrease, but instead increase the energy consumption of all components that were meant to comply with the targets 20-20-20.

o        The new requirements address the new challenges to participants in the process from designer to contractor

 

Unfortunately, dynamic changes in global climate require new skills and qualities from the participants in it for implementing Bulgarias energy policy. A new approach in the educational process is necessary in order to cease the flow of unemployed people from high schools and universities. To date, graduates and successful in finding jobs in companies from the private sector young professionals, start completely new educational process in those companies. This education, of course, is paid by the employer and this is one of the reasons for the aging of technical staff in companies. The lack of modern facilities in schools makes it impossible for practical training, according to European standards, and the circle closes again qualified specialists are wanted, but they have nowhere to occur from.

 

The problem with the teachers is no different the best seek opportunities in prestigious companies with prestigious pay, while education suffers again.

 

Since education is a state policy, it would be right to do a research and to generate new training programs. The private sector is fully aware of the prospects before him and what kinds of specialists are needed for implementation of energy policies.

 

Year

Minimum monthly salary

Average monthly salary

Oil price $/barrel

Heat transfer coefficient U-W/m2

Nr. of barrels for wage fund for 1 month

1

2

3

4

5

6

1962

 

85,00

3,00

 

28

1963

 

87,58

3,00

 

29

1964

 

89,67

3,00

1,61

30

1965

 

92,42

3,00

1,61

31

1966

55

96,42

3,00

1,61

32

1967

 

107,00

3,00

1,61

36

1968

60

113,83

3,00

1,61

38

1969

 

117,17

3,00

1,61

39

1970

65

123,83

3,00

1,61

41

1971

 

126,50

3,00

1,61

42

1972

 

130,92

12,0

1,61

 

1973

80

139,17

 

1,61

 

1974

 

142,00

 

1,61

 

1975

 

146,42

 

1,61

 

1976

 

148,08

 

1,61

 

1977

 

151,42

 

1,61

 

1978

 

157,25

 

1,61

 

1979

100

164,92

35,0

1,61

5

1980

 

182,50

32,0

1,25

6

1981

 

191,58

29,0

1,25

7

1982

 

196,92

26,0

1,25

8

1983

 

199,42

23,0

1,25

9

1984

110

207,33

20,0

1,25

10

1985

120

213,67

18,0

1,25

12

1986

 

224,75

18,0

1,25

12

1987

 

234,33

 

1,02

 

1988

 

252,08

 

1,02

 

1989

140

274,33

 

1,02

 

1990

191

377,75

 

1,02

 

1991

620

1011,75

 

1,02

 

1992

850

2047,33

 

1,02

 

1993

1200

3231,33

 

 

 

1994

1800

4960,42

 

 

 

1995

2555

7597,00

 

 

 

1996

4000

13269,00

 

 

 

1997

45500

113557,00

 

 

 

1998

53500

164980,00

 

 

 

1999

67

180,05

 

 

 

2000

79

217,11

 

 

 

2001

100

242,96

 

 

 

2002

 

259,75

 

 

 

2003

110

280,76

 

 

 

2004

120

308,80

 

 

 

2005

150

331,62

60,0

 

4

2006

160

354,50

 

 

 

2007

180

398,17

90,0

 

3

2008

220

500,56

 

 

 

2009

240

554,78

 

0,35

 

2010

240

570,73

 

0,35

 

2011

 

594,11

100,0

0,35

4

2012

 

600,00

116,0

0,35

4

 

 

 

The Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria (CISB) initiates series of events, related to energy efficiency problems. Keeping close contacts with technical universities leads to clarification of the causes for problems and ways for solving them.

 

Professional Training Center of the Chamber prepares workers and specialists from member companies for the new requirements, related to energy efficiency. The Chamber is a member of the largest union of installation companies in Europe GSI-UICP, whose members are more than 200 000 companies and as such we receive technical and technological assistance for solving problems in the industry.

 

The Chamber of Installation Specialists, along with its members is actively participating in several training programs, related to energy efficiency with direct funding from the EU, since it is recognized as the representative of the industry in Bulgaria.

 

Finally a ladder has two ways and the choice is ours.

 

This article is published in the official monthly magazine of the Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria - "Installations" Journal, year IX, Issue 2, March 2012

Chamber of Installation Specialists in Bulgaria

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