Renewable energy generation and its integration with the built environment are becoming one of the main concerns of the global construction industry. It is believed that this solution is essential in addressing the growing challenges of global energy scarcity and the consequences of greenhouse gas effect. Buildings are the major end-users of energy worldwide; therefore, any measures implemented by the industry to generate and apply renewable energy should lead to the target cuts in CO2 emissions. Kazakhstan, as a member of the international community, is not an exception. Rapid economic growth and associated booms in the construction industry have caused a sharp increase in energy usage, simultaneously causing a significant negative impact on the environment. The government is seeking ways of learning and transferring international knowledge and experience in this field to cope with the above mentioned challenges. Thus, this work outlines and discusses modern building design strategies and measures and the use of renewable technologies, with specific focus on countries with cold climates. It also attempts to develop up-to-date expertise on renewable energy integration into contemporary buildings. Among others, these include the use of alternative and low impact, renewable energy forms such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy. A case study was conducted in order to test the hypothesis that renewable energy technologies, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in particular, can be a sensible and practical solution to reduce the building sector's energy use from the grid and subsequently diminish carbon dioxide emissions. Thus, the paper has attempted to estimate energy usage of a building model with and without installation of a PV system and makes a basic economic calculation based on approximate market prices for installation and maintenance. This has allowed an estimation of estimating the approximate payback periods and make conclusions on the rational of integration of this solar energy technology in Kazakhstan (for cold, as well as, warm temperatures). Findings have shown that with present underdeveloped PV market and prohibitively expensive initial cost, the payback period is far more than it is in developed countries. A number of recommendations have been made to the government of Kazakhstan to make this technology more applicable and financially viable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment