Heating and Cooling in the upcoming EU Renewables Directive

It is crucial that the future EU Renewables Directive includes effective measures to promote renewable heating and cooling (RES-H). To reach the 20% target by 2020, almost half of the growth in renewables production has to come from RES-H alone. Heating is a primary human need. Supply shortage recently became a credible scenario. While reducing this risk, RES-H can achieve substantial cost reductions through economies of scale at EU level (manufacturing, technological development) but also at local level (marketing, installation, after sale services). For these reasons, each Member State (MS) has a high interest to increase its domestic RES-H share as quickly as possible.

Among the RES-H sources, solar thermal has particular advantages: it does not rely on scarce resources needed also for other uses, it does not increase electricity consumption, it is available nearly everywhere, and it is emissions free. All forms of RES-H and energy efficiency measures should be supported. However the priority in the long term will be to cover with solar energy as much heating demand as possible. Already now, solar thermal is one of the most cost effective renewables.

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