This vision is intended to provide a clear path for 100% renewable energy (RE) heating and cooling (H&C) sectors in Europe by 2050. It highlights the principles, the drivers, and the challenges of the transition to RE and helps readers to understand the potential of renewable heating and cooling (RHC) technologies.
The decarbonisation of H&C sectors is an essential milestone to achieve the ambitious climate and energy targets of the European Union (EU). In fact, H&C accounts for about half of the total end energy demand in Europe and they are by far the largest energy consuming sectors. However, in 2017 only 19,5% of thermal energy was generated from renewable energy sources (RES) and considerable differences exist between EU Member States (EUROSTAT, 2019).
The Renewable Energy Directive set the target of 32% RE by 2030; overall, about 40% of this share is projected to come from the H&C sectors. Thus, the evolution of climate related policies is giving new momentum to renewable H&C (RHC) technologies.
This vision was developed by the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC-ETIP); it is the result of the joint effort of a pool of experts from industry and research, divided in four multidisciplinary working groups, respectively focusing on individual buildings, cities, districts, and industries. This approach was adopted to look at H&C from a systems perspective, stressing the need for integration of different technologies and highligting promising solutions for different use contexts. The Platform’s Technology Panels supported this exercise by providing relevant information on the technology state-of-the-art.