Zero Emission Construction Sites: the possibilities and barriers of electric construction machinery

Authors: Mark Preston Aragones and Teodora Serafimova

Publisher: Bellona Europa

Construction is a fundamental component of human civilisation. It lies at the heart of economic and social development. In fact the construction industry generates roughly 9% of European GDP and accounts for 18 million jobs. In spite of this, construction sites are also a major source of environmental and human health damage throughout all aspects of the construction process. While it is well known that construction sites are the source of different forms of pollution – including material waste, visible dust, noise, and vibration – construction and demolition sites also produce less obvious pollutants which are of serious concern for human health, namely NOx and particulate matter. Combined with increasing urbanisation trends and a fast-growing global population, it goes without saying that construction is here to stay. This calls for the adoption of timely policies and measures at the local-, national- and EU levels to encourage the transition to zero emission technologies and processes across the full construction supply chain.

This paper takes a closer look into the potential of electrified construction site machinery, the solutions which exist today, the current policy and market advances in this regard, and goes on to provide some forward looking policy recommendations, drawing on EU legislation that is undergoing reform, and pending transposition at national levels.

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