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3 Jul 2015

COGEN Europe: Towards an EU Heating and Cooling Strategy

In the new Energy Union, the European Commission encourages member states to give energy efficiency primary consideration in their energy policies. The Commission stresses that EU energy policy must establish synergies between energy efficiency policies, resource efficiency policies and market design, and it will seek to enshrine these principles in its upcoming European Heating and Cooling Strategy (described hereafter as 'Strategy').

COGEN Europe and its members believe the following eight points must be included in the scope of the Strategy if it is to be a success:

  • The Strategy should take all strategic objectives of the EU's existing energy and climate policy framework into account (the 'Energy Trilemma')

Adopting an 'Energy Efficiency First' approach to the Strategy offers the advantage of addressing the trilemma of the EU's energy goals: security of supply, competitiveness and environmental protection. Security of supply in particular requires that energy efficiency along the supply chain and not only in end use should be included in the Strategy.

  • The Strategy should take a System not a Silo approach

Heat storage and transactions between energy networks (heat, gas and electricity) can all help to increase efficiency. Heat and electricity production are closely linked. Heat cannot be addressed in isolation from the rest of energy demand, nor can it be supplied in isolation from the rest of energy supply. Heat networks should receive similar planning consideration as electricity and gas networks in that they give EU energy users advantages in terms of services and efficiency. All energy users must benefit.

  • The Strategy should encompass all significant heat and chilling demands

A central element of the Strategy must be the development of a practical and sufficient framework for understanding heat use in Europe, as well as the collection of supporting data. The strategy should include heat needs for industry, a sector which uses around 40% of Europe's heat.

  • The Strategy should establish consistency with EU electricity market design

The links between supply and demand for heat and electricity are strong and are the source of major energy efficiency gains. There must be consistency between electricity market design and the Strategy.

  • The Strategy should measure success in Primary Energy Savings (PES) in the EU energy system

In 2012 the EU imported 53% of its primary energy at an estimated cost of €405bn, out of which about €170bn was used non-transport sectors. The EU must have dependable domestic energy sources and it must use the energy it imports more efficiently. A focus on primary energy savings delivers success in terms of both end-use savings and network and transformation improvements, which end-use measures do not.

  • The Strategy should take a Multi-Technology approach

Decarbonising the heat sector requires the large-scale mobilisation of capital and innovation. Demand for heat is very local in nature and the Strategy should recognise the need for flexibility from the outset. A multi-technology approach should be adopted to stimulate innovation and ensure that good technologies based on local and most-efficient solutions come forward.

  • The Strategy should include Cities and Regions in its scope from the outset

The Strategy's need to lead with energy efficiency, consider a system approach and tackle challenges where the best solutions may be very local in nature points to success in linking with cities and regions. Using networks like the Covenant of Mayors and regional platforms as partners in moving ideas and actions forward should be part of the Strategy from the outset.

  • The Strategy should establish the adequacy of data to support its recommendations

As the first-ever detailed inclusion of heat in the EU's energy thinking, the Strategy should highlight data gaps and seek to address these first. Only where sufficient data exists at this stage can framework recommendations be made.

To read this press release in PDF format (including references and links for all figures cited above), please click below.