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COGEN Europe advocates local approach for successful heating and cooling

Policymakers drafting the EU’s new Heating and Cooling Strategy must take a local approach across the whole energy system if the strategy is to be successful, and Europe’s energy efficiency ambitions are to be realised.

That’s the approach being advocated by Energy Cities and COGEN Europe who point out the significance of a decentralised approach by cities such as Riga and Delft, which have adopted a system-wide approach based on local solutions delivering sustainable heat in a highly efficient manner.

The system approach will be debated at EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) in Brussels next week (18 June).
The EU’s flagship Energy Union communication ” launched by the European Commission in February 2015 ” has charted a new direction for Europe’s energy agenda, establishing energy efficiency as a main dimension of the EU legislative framework for energy. Under the Energy Union framework, the Commission will publish the EU’s first ever Heating and Cooling Strategy before the end of 2015.
The local nature of heat demand and the richness of local supply options have led both Energy Cities and COGEN Europe to promote a system-wide rather than a siloed heat-only approach. In Europe’s future energy system, networks fed from sustainable sources must combine with modern energy-efficient technologies deployed at local level in order to successfully deliver the objectives of the EU Energy Union.
“To accommodate the transition towards a sustainable energy system, we must change our heating system. The Heat Roundabout project is our answer in the Province of South-Holland, thanks to waste heat from industry located in the Rotterdam port,”à‚ said Deputy Mayor of Delft Stephan Brandligt, an Energy Cities board member.
Whether using heat from waste water or from an energy-intensive data centre, or cooling from a nearby lake or water source, there are numerous low-hanging fruits and a wealth of opportunities to harness sustainable, cheap heating and cooling sources in European cities. In this spirit, one of Energy Cities’à‚ key proposals for the energy transition is to rely on local heat maps and plans to match needs with available resources.
Similarly in the UK, “150 local authorities are investigating new local energy opportunities, recoveringà‚ heat from London tube stations, industrial sites and highly-efficient combined heat and power plants. Local energy generation, whether from manufacturing sites, hospitals or commercial buildings, offers an opportunity for local businesses and governments to play a part in delivering the heat strategy’s ambitions while delivering higher efficiency savings than if we take a heat-based approach in isolation,”à‚ said Jonathan Graham, Head of Policy at the UK’s Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).

“Customers need low-carbon, competitive heat. A well-structured heat strategy, leading to an appropriate policy structure, can enable this outcome,” said COGEN Europe Managing Director Fiona Riddoch.