Page 51 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2017 publication
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Summer 2017 European Energy Innovation       51

                                                      DISTRICT HEATING

proposals aimed at revamping             of the heating and cooling strategy’s
Europe’s energy and climate policies     vision throughout the new legislative
and aligning them with broader           proposals: the decarbonisation of
international commitments under the      European buildings based on energy
Paris Agreement.                         efficiency, the shift to renewable energy
                                         and the synergies between heating
As more than half of Europe’s energy     and cooling and the electricity system
is consumed for heating purposes,        through means of efficient district
any policy initiative to decarbonise     heating.
the energy sector would fail without
addressing the topic of heat. Today,     The key legislative piece of this
around 75% of Europe’s heat demand       package for our industry is without
is met with heat from fossil fuel based  a doubt the new Renewable Energy
sources, namely natural gas, oil and     Directive. The proposal includes for the
coal. The fragmented heating market      first time a substantial part dedicated
makes it difficult to integrate more     to the decarbonisation of the heat
renewable energy in the system,          sector, as well as special provisions on
especially with a widespread use of      consumer rights and market structures
individual natural gas boilers.          in district heating.

Euroheat & Power works now closely       The draft directive, in line with the
with policy-makers to ensure the uptake  earlier published strategy, reaffirms
                                         the strong conviction by European
                                         and national policy makers that              to achieve Europe’s long-term
                                         district heating can and must play a         greenhouse gas emission goals.
                                         central role in decarbonising Europe’s
                                         heating and cooling sector. This newly       An immense opportunity to
                                         found support opens some great               decarbonise European heating is right
                                         opportunities for district heating, and      in front of us. European industries,
                                         now it is up for the industry to live up to  such as steel production or power
                                         expectations and deliver its part in the     production, currently produce enough
                                         energy transition.                           surplus heat to potentially meet 100%
                                                                                      of the EU heat demand. However, most
                                         The brand new article 23 of the              of it is being wasted, even though the
                                         Renewable Energy Directive draft is a        technology to capture this heat and
                                         key section which discusses the need         direct it to district heating networks
                                         to increase the share of renewables in       is mature, affordable and already
                                         heating and cooling. A leaked version        widespread. An increasing number of
                                         of the proposal, which was released          district heating operators, especially
                                         a few weeks before the directive was         in the Nordic counties, is investing in
                                         officially adopted, created an obligation    excess heat capacities working with
                                         for Member States to increase the share      industrial installations, data centres,
                                         of renewables in heating and cooling.        hospitals, supermarkets. European
                                         The text was unfortunately made less         cities, for instance Frankfurt and
                                         emphatic in the version that was later       Stockholm, have placed excess heat at
                                         officially published by the European         the forefront of their decarbonisation
                                         Commission, but it nevertheless              strategies – it is a low carbon, cost
                                         represents a first step in the creation of
                                         a framework for dramatically increasing
                                         the role of renewable energies in the
                                         heating and cooling sector, working
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