The progRESsHEAT project has just released a new publication: "Boosting renewables in heating & cooling systems and energy efficiency - Recommendations to guide and inspire policy makers"
In 2015, about 50% of the final energy consumed in the European Union was used for heating and cooling (H/C), the major part of which was supplied by fossil fuels. In order to decarbonise H/C, it is necessary to increase energy efficiency on the demand side and to use renewable energy sources (RES) for heating, cooling and electricity. The importance of measures for reducing energy demand such as deep energy retrofits of buildings or internal energy reuse in industrial processes is emphasized with the “energy efficiency first” principle of the EU energy policy. The remaining demand should then mainly be supplied by a direct use of RESH/C technologies or the use of electricity from RES. The direct use of RES-H/C includes individual systems in buildings and industrial plants as well as units in district heating and cooling (DHC) systems.
An effective policy set is required to succesfully manage the heating and cooling transition. Contrary to other sectors, where regulations and support schemes need to be rather set at national or even European level in a consistent manner, decarbonisation of the H/C sector requires a local approach to a large extent. The main investors in energy efficiency and heating systems are building owners who cannot be regulated by a national entity as done in the electricity sector. Installers and other craftsmen providing technologies and implementing efficiency measures such as building retrofits operate in regional structures. In addition, DHC is completely operated and organised at local or regional level by municipal utilities. Therefore, policy recommendations are derived not only for the national and European levels but also for the local and regional levels.