Low and zero carbon technologies and renewables
The United Kingdom has also set its own ambitious targets which were made legally binding in the Climate Change Act 2008. In the United Kingdom, the need for full air-conditioning is, and should remain, rare. Air-conditioning can increase a building’s running costs and CO2 emissions significantly. Appropriate design is crucial, to avoid occupants retrofitting portable air-conditioning units. Renewable energy is energy that comes from inexhaustible sources. Renewable technologies are often compared to low efficiency gas boilers, which would no longer pass Building Regulations anyway. Renewable energy supply should only be considered once the building’s fabric energy efficiency has been optimised. Fabric efficiencies give occupants continued thermal comfort and reduced fuel costs and carbon emissions throughout the building’s lifespan. A large number of micro-wind turbines are needed due to lower wind speeds, leading to reduced energy generation. The carbon reduction from electricity generation may never be offset by the embodied carbon of turbines required.