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European Sustainable Energy Week

Project using entire building surface to harvest energy announced as a finalist in the European Sustainable Energy Awards

Innovative facade technologies applied by ENVISION during building renovations generate energy from all available surfaces, enabling energy positive buildings throughout Europe

Up to 100% of the energy demand in European buildings could be satisfied by tapping into these new and, until now, largely unused facade technologies during renovations.

We have developed a novel full renovation concept that harvests thermal and electric energy from the full building facade, including windows. These technologies have multiple application potentials and have been tested in different building types. The solutions allow to collect a maximum amount of solar energy and simultaneously retain aesthetic and functional properties of the facade.

Nicole Meulendijks of TNO, Coordinator of the EU-funded ENVISION project


The technologies developed as part of the project provide photovoltaic (PV) solutions for roofs and new thermal and electric energy harvesting solutions for the building facade. The thermal solutions focus on absorbing near-infrared (NIR) solar radiation, which constitutes roughly 50% of the solar energy spectrum. Since it is invisible, the technology can be implemented in buildings by using any colours – not only black, which we are used to in solar panels.

We want to implement these kinds of technologies for every house all over Europe. With a payback period of under 15 years, the installation is cost efficient and easy - it takes less than two days during the renovation process. To-date they have been installed at demo sites throughout Europe, in places with very different climate conditions, such as in the Netherlands, Austria and Italy.

Christian Eibl of NSG Pilkington, Partner in ENVISION

The benefits to residents and owners are also clear. ‘I am happy as my house is energy positive, free from gas, with a net-zero energy bill,’

Renske Crone, Tenant

With refurbishment activities accounting for 85% of the total construction sector output in Europe, there is a massive opportunity to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the building stock with ENVISION. The consortium of 13 partners from 6 EU countries addressed this by involving the entire value chain in the project, from social housing to material manufacturers, each bringing their unique knowledge and cross-sectorial experience.

As the single largest energy consumer in the EU, buildings account for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions. Building renovations for energy efficiency are therefore crucial to meeting European energy and climate goals. The project, which is funded under the EU’s  Horizon 2020 programme, responds to the EU’s goal of secure, clean and efficient energy and its  Renovation Wave Strategy that sets out to at least double renovation rates in the next ten years. Such actions are delivering on the European Green Deal, and more urgently, supporting the REPowerEU Plan to accelerate the clean energy transition and increase Europe’s energy independence.

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EU-funded projects raising the profile of new ideas

ENVISION is one of three finalists shortlisted for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2022 in the Innovation category. The award recognises outstanding ongoing or recently completed EU-funded projects that show an original and innovative path toward the clean energy transition. The other finalists in the Innovation category are Beccs Stockholm and MUSE GRIDS.  

Beccs Stockholm is creating a full-scale BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) facility at Stockholm Exergi’s existing heat and power biomass plant in Sweden’s capital. MUSE GRIDS is increasing the use of renewable energy sources at the local level by creating synergies between different energy systems and networks to form energy communities.