The building sector is currently responsible of 40% of global final energy consumption, influencing the broader energy system in terms of new electricity and heat capacity additions, as well as distribution infrastructure reinforcement. Current building energy efficiency potential is largely untapped, especially at the local level where retrofit interventions are typically enforced, neglecting their potential synergies with the entire energy system. To improve the understanding of these potential interactions, this paper proposes a methodology that links dynamic building simulation and energy planning tools at the urban scale. At first, a detailed bottom-up analysis was conducted to estimate the current and post-retrofit energy demand of the building stock. The stock analysis is further linked to a broader energy system simulation model to understand the impact of building renovation on the whole urban energy system in terms of cost, greenhouse gas emission, and primary energy consumption up to 2050. The methodology is suited to analyze the relationship between building energy demand reduction potential and clean energy sources’ deployment to shift buildings away from fossil fuels, the key priority for decarbonizing buildings. The methodology was applied to the case study city of Torino, Italy, highlighting the critical role of coupling proper building retrofit intervention with district-level heat generation strategies, such as modern district heating able to exploit low-grade heat. Being able to simulate both demand and supply future alternatives, the methodology provides a robust reference for municipalities and energy suppliers aiming at promoting efficient energy policies and targeted investments.
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