Renewables are simply ‘good governance’ but context is fluid

Incorporating renewable energy generation and usage in a building is now considered part of good governance by building stakeholders who now think less in terms of a specific return on investment, according to Joost Leendertse, founder and CEO of renewable energy specialist VerusSol.

However, as he told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts, the traditional rooftop lease model is not now thought very effective and other simple solutions to decarbonise assets are being sought.

CRREM (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) pathways enable buildings’ carbon footprints to be monitored, but these change every year because the energy mix is changing Leendertse said.

“You see more and more differences between countries,” he said. For instance, In Poland assets will become stranded sooner than in Norway where there is more renewable energy available.

Buildings now need to be more resilient in terms of the environment and climate, but also for energy consumption. “Buildings should be resilient for energy consumption so producing your own renewable energy for consumption on site or offsite,” Leendertse said. “But control and ownership will be the new, essential part of a building.”

Illustrating the pace of change and rapid, often unforeseen, changes that technology brings, Leendertse pointed out that 10 years ago buildings were being designed with extra slab-to-slab height to allow for computer and telecoms cabling.

“Today you put in one small box and all devices are mobile or connected to each other. This change you also see in renewable energy,” he said.