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European industry disagrees on way forward for heating & cooling strategy

Follow a high level conference in February this year, the European Commission has released a series of working papers to prepare the way towards a new heating and cooling strategy.  The Strategy will have to look into the role of the heating and cooling sector in delivering the EU’s long-term decarbonisation objectives:-

  • contributing to energy security;
  • addressing the risk of a heating crisis should gas supplies be interrupted; and,
  • increasing the competitiveness of European industry. 

The European Commission is expected to issue its draft proposlas towards the end of the year.  The working papers are seeking feedback on how to find the “cost-optimal” balance between various options to decarbonise the heating and cooling sector.  Industry groups on all sides are however in disagreement on how to proceed with the balancing of energy supply and savings.  Some believe that replacement of existing heating systems offer better opportunities to cut emissions from heating than relying on insulation improvements.Tthe insulation industry believes that by tapping energy saving opportunities in buildings before tackling heat supply is the best way for the Commission to stimulate the largest societal benefits and avoid lock-in effects.  District heating can be seen as part of the solution according to some with district heating being a more cost-effective approach than to store electricity with large-scale projects delivering significant cost reductions compared to solutions for individual buildings. Meanwhile, others believe it should not lead to large-scale infrastructure investment locking the EU into a chosen technology path for decades.   The debate continues, read more about the position of COGEN Europe

Issue 45