Heating homes and providing hot water constitute about one-third of the EU’s energy needs, with 75% currently derived from fossil fuels. Euroheat & Power, the European district heating organization, has unveiled a “Fit for 2050” blueprint outlining recommendations to harness efficient district heating and cooling for Europe’s decarbonization.
The plan includes eight recommendations for the upcoming European Parliament, set to take effect after the 2024 elections. Among these recommendations is a call for a different approach to building renovations, considering entire neighborhoods and districts rather than individual homes. Euroheat & Power also emphasizes the challenge of financing district heating and cooling projects in Europe, proposing various tools to reduce investor risk.
The organization underscores five key arguments supporting increased district heating at the European level:
- Need for more renewable energy.
- Economic benefits of utilizing heat efficiently.
- Requirement for a flexible, integrated energy system.
- The necessity for a fair, green transition in the heating sector.
- Demand for solutions to help industries become more sustainable.
Euroheat & Power believes that adhering to these recommendations will enable the widespread release of green district heating forces across Europe. Currently, European district heating networks consist of 41.3% renewable energy and climate-neutral heat sources. According to recent studies, expanding district heating and cooling to cover 20% of the EU’s heat demand by 2030 (compared to the current 13%) could save 24 billion cubic meters of gas.