Page 63 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2016 publication
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Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation      63

                                                    HEATING & COOLING

storage (UTES) stabilising the grid, and   Having been neglected until relatively      cooling systems. The results, which can
heat pumps providing thermal energy        recently, policy making for renewable       be found on the front website, show
and storage at an individual level.        heating and cooling is nascent at           for example that the residential sector
                                           European, national, and local levels.       is the least aware of renewables for
Renewables for heating and cooling         This means there is another information     heating and cooling, that most people
accounted for 51.5% of the total           gap to be filled: how to build support      seek advice from professionals with
renewable energy consumed in 2013,         schemes to promote the transition to        the internet and important information
but only 16.5% of the thermal energy       a sustainable system. Some innovative       source for many, and that most
demand. The potential is much higher,      schemes have been created at all            perceive renewables as requiring high
with the possibility to meet 25% of the    levels of government, and information       investment costs and delivering high
demand by 2020. This would more than       about these schemes now needs to be         savings- it is the same high investment
double the number of jobs (470,000         developed, assessed, and shared in          costs that represent a major barrier to
in 2013) and save Europe €21.6 billion     order for programmes to be developed        switching fuel sources.
each year on energy imports compared       and refined, and for best practices to
to 2012.                                   be transferred between countries.           This information will be used in
                                                                                       understanding both building policies,
Given the potential and the benefits       The FROnT project is now studying the       and to help authorities and businesses
we could expect the penetration of         existing support schemes is looking at      to communicate their ideas in ways
the market to be much deeper, but          their impact in collaboration with the      that accurately address the concerns
a lack of good quality, transparent        authorities that implement them, and        of end users. The project consortium is
information is holding back                the business, agencies and consumers        building a range of tools for consumers
development.                               which use them. These studies will help     based on these results to both directly
                                           in identifying the key success factors      improve access to information, and to
The Levelised cost of electricity (LCoE)   for support schemes, and once that is       build a package of information, tools,
has long been established as a way         established, it will be possible to create  and guidance which can be built on by
to calculate the value of electricity      guidance for the creation of future         communicators working in all of the
by taking into consideration capital       policies ensuring that the best lessons     stakeholder groups.
costs, operations and maintenance,         have been learnt and policies are
performance, and fuel costs; by            optimised.                                  Renewable heating and cooling will
establishing this value, electricity from                                              develop in the future- it must if we
different sources could be compared.       The consumer must remain central in         are to meet our climate and energy
The Levelised Cost of Heat (LCoH)          any discussion of how the future energy     goals and protect the interests of
is now needed in order to similarly        market will be developed; it is essential   European citizens. To make this growth
compare heat from different sources.       that changing technology and policies       effective and efficient, we need more
The Fair RHC Options and Trade             is in harmony with changing consumer        information about costs are and what
(FROnT) project is undertaking this task.  behaviour. Current behaviour can            supporting measures work. Then,
The first step is to develop a commonly    be measured in sales trends, but            we need this information to be more
accepted methodology, which takes          now thanks to a new study we are            readily available to all- policy makers,
factors such as climatic or geological     beginning to understand why those           businesses and consumers. In this
conditions, demand profiles, system        choices are made, and what factors          way, development will be pushed by
performance into consideration. Next, a    will influence future action. More          increased demand and pull through
cost estimation tool will be developed     than 4,000 consumers in the private         flanking measure which enable
which will allow users to compare costs    and public sectors as well as private       development. l
online. This will be a breakthrough        households have taken part in a study
in providing the missing information       analysing the factors which influence         CONTACT DETAILS
which prevents us from making reliable     their decisions about maintaining,
estimations.                               installing, and renovating heating and
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