The wide application of renewable energy system (RES) in buildings combined with numerous financial incentives on RES paves the way for future zero energy buildings (ZEB). Although the definition of ZEB still lacks a national building code and international standards, the number of ZEB projects is still increasing worldwide which seems to be the pioneer ZEB buildings. However, due to the intermittency of the renewable resources, various uncertain parameters, and dynamic electricity price from the grid, how to select the renewable energy system for buildings is one of the challenges and therefore becomes an extensive concern for both researchers and designers. In addition, questions like how to achieve the target of zero energy for different types of buildings, should the building be designed as an independent ZEB or a group of buildings to be a ZEB cluster, and how to make building owners actively involved in installing enough RES for the building are still on the air. This chapter will present a comprehensive view on several key issues related with ZEB, that is, definition, evaluation criteria, design method, and uncertainty analysis, and the penalty cost scheme is also proposed for consideration as one policy to assist the promotion of ZEB.
Part of the book: Green Energy Advances