02 Apr 2013
The Heat Coalition calls for a comprehensive European approach for heating and cooling
“The debate must include heating and cooling ” urged the Heat Coalition as the Green Paper A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies was published on 27th March 2013. Shall we remember that last year they already claimed for a more ambitious European heating and cooling policy.
According to the Heat Coalition, a platform gathering 11 European associations with a stake in the heating and cooling sector, the forthcoming climate and energy policy framework must adequately address the future role of the heating and cooling sector, as it accounts for no less than 45% of the final energy consumption in Europe today¹.
Unfortunately, the stance taken on heating and cooling in the Green Paper confirms the recent conclusion from the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives publication, arguing that “heating and cooling remain neglected areas of energy policy and technology, but their decarbonisation is a fundamental element towards a low carbon economy“. With virtually no mention of this sector or any reference to the challenges it faces, the Green Paper fails to consider the relevant issues.
However, the Heat Coalition strongly believes that this is the right time to develop a comprehensive European approach for heating and cooling towards making energy more affordable and keeping European businesses competitive, as requested by both the European Parliament and the Council.
Less than a fortnight before, the European Parliament had responded to the European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 by calling on the Commission to “consider the full integration of the heating and cooling sector into the transformation of the energy system“; stressing that “readily available renewable energy solutions (geothermal, biomass including biodegradable waste, solar thermal and hydro/aerothermal), in combination with energy efficiency measures, have the potential to decarbonize the heat&cool demand by 2050 in a more cost-effective way, while addressing the problem of energy poverty“². Moreover, the Council’s conclusions on the renewable energy Communication, agreed last December, stated that “more attention should be paid to the widely untapped potential of renewables in the heating and cooling sector“.
Given these clear signals from both the European Parliament and the Council, the heating and cooling sector should be considered as a crucial pillar supporting the 2030 framework.
Today, the Heat Coalition calls on the European Commission to put forward a comprehensive strategy, which must include improved statistics and data collection process, to promote innovative renewable energy sources and energy efficient solutions throughout the entire energy supply chain.
¹ European and regional energy models forecast heat demand to remain stable in Europe at least until the 2030 time horizon.
² The report also mentions the importance of local energy infrastructure and shows the support of European decision-makers to promote integrated energy system featuring amongst others the primary energy saving metrics.