The energy demand in the residential building sector represents a big challenge for Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia. Within our project entitled “Support for Low Emission Development in South East Europe”, the authors developed residential building topologies and using them as an input, designed and applied bottom-up simulation models to assess the impact of decarbonisation policy packages applied to this sector. The models were prepared in co-operation with national policymakers in the LEAP software, for which they were trained in a parallel project. The final models and input data were provided to them for further use and modification. The paper describes the methodology and provides selected examples of results placing a special focus on our cooperation with the policy-makers.
Specifically for the focus countries, the authors found that partial heating and intermittent heating as well as uncertainties of wood share in the national energy balance are typical problems. Energy demand could be significantly reduced through building thermal retrofits even though they imply higher thermal comfort. Both moderate and ambitious policy scenarios, which include building codes and financial incentives, may realize a large share of energy savings in all three countries, but sector priorities for policy-making differ. The scenario investment are very high therefore it is important to couple scenario retrofits with business-as-usual renovations as well as consider other co-benefits additionally to saved energy costs. All results presented in the paper could be easily obtained from the models on any level of the building stock segmentation, i.e. on the level of building type, age, climate zone, or end-use. Such detailed analysis has never been done before for these countries and it will provide substantial impetus on the policy process.