IRENA study confirms heating and cooling potential

A study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has identified great potential for Europe in the area of heating and cooling.

The research shows Europe’s heating and cooling sector accounts for more than one third of the EU’s untapped renewable energy potential, according to one new study, while another has highlighted which countries are the worst for deaths caused by living in cold homes.
Euractiv reports IRENA has found that deployment of renewables in the heating and cooling sector, which accounts for half of the EU’s energy demand, has been slower than in the power sector.

It also revealed that 34% of the bloc’s heating and cooling needs could be fueled by renewables by 2030 if faster progress is made, including the roll-out of heat pumps, which could meet nearly a tenth of heating needs.

Converting district heating, which meets 9% of needs, from its mostly coal- or gas-powered production to renewables should also be considered, according to the report.

Reacting to IRENA’s findings, technology group Danfoss reiterated the importance of district heating in the energy transition and increased uptake of renewables. EU affairs expert Susanne Tull explained that district energy can even balance the energy system by using renewable electricity during times of peak production.

She called on negotiators tackling the update of the renewable energy directive to ensure that there is an ambitious target for the heating and cooling sector.

The need to provide adequate heating in particular, regardless of energy source, took on a new dimension when a study by energy think tank E3G revealed how many excess winter deaths there are in Europe.

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