Opportunities for district heating and cooling in the Energy Efficiency section of the Horizon 2020 Energy Challenge were presented at an Information Day organised by the European Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in Brussels last week.
Marie Donnelly, Director of New and Renewable Sources of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Innovation at the European Commission’s DG Energy, reminded the audience that 46 % of the total energy consumed in Europe is used for the generation of heat for domestic or industrial purposes.
Donnelly addressed the regional and local level specifically and underscored their importance in reaching the EU’s objective of security of supply.
‘The EU is the first region to decouple GDP growth from energy imports, thanks to the efforts of regions, cities and the local level. It comes from people like you. The European Commission can help with funding and can provide the legal framework. But is can only be done by communities and people on the ground,’ she said.
Analysis of the European energy system’s resilience in the face of disruptions in Russian gas imports presented in the European Commission’s Stress Test Communication pointed to fuel switching through district heating and cogeneration as a key measure for ensuring long-term energy security.
The findings are in line with statements from the International Energy Agency, which mentioned the technologies as ‘an essential part of strategies for greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and energy security.’
Horizon 2020 comprises of a series of challenges and the specific challenge for district heating and cooling systems is the need to be more efficient, intelligent and cheaper.
Expected impacts of proposals are reduced energy consumption of space and water heating by 30 to 50% compared to today’s level, contribution to the wider use of intelligent district heating and cooling systems and contribution to the integration of renewables, waste [heat] and storage.
Projects to be supported under the previous call are on the development of advanced and intelligent control systemsfor smart and flexible DHC and the introduction of thermal active demand response in the management of DHCS.
Topic EE14 of Horizon deals with the market uptake and converting policy into action, and the challenge here is the removal of non-technological (including legislation) barriers to exploit the full potential of efficient heating and cooling solutions.
A high level conference in Brussels focusing on the role of heating and cooling in the European Energy Transition is planned in Brussels for the 26-27 th February.