The European Commission has published four studies that look at different aspects of the decarbonisation of heating and cooling in the EU. Roughly half of the energy consumed at present in Europe is used for heating and cooling, and most of it is based on fossil fuels. Consequently, shifting this sector towards the use of renewable energy has the potential to make a significant contribution to decarbonising the energy system and achieving the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030 – and ultimately its goal to become climate-neutral by 2050.
The EU is already addressing the decarbonisation of heating and cooling through several legal instruments, in particular through the Renewable Energy Directive. However, progress on national and EU policy on this sector is often hampered by the lack of robust data and little knowledge of the specifics of market and regulatory frameworks – all of which are necessary to develop cost-effective decarbonisation pathways and measures.
The aim of these four studies is to fill this knowledge gap and support the implementation of existing EU law by providing comprehensive and in-depth analyses of key aspects of the heating and cooling sector. The different aspects can be described as follows: