Last year, the European Union embarked on a mission to decarbonise the building sector, currently responsible for 40% of the bloc’s energy use. And cities with district heat networks have a head start when it comes to integrating new low-carbon energy sources.
Euroheat & Power has come forward with a commitment to full decarbonisation of Europe’s district heating and cooling networks before 2050 but Managing Director Paul Voss wants everyone to know he’s not proud of it.
Cities with decades-old combined heat and power systems are emitting less carbon than others, and EU policymakers are looking at how to emulate this across the bloc.
We are running out of time to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, and need urgent and ambitious climate leadership. Cities are central to this effort – and it is crucial that we continue to enable our cities to address and solve climate challenges, writes Lars Tveen.
Emissions from residential heating can be drastically reduced if Europe agrees a ban on new oil and gas boiler installations by 2030 at the latest, according to a Danish researcher who led an EU-wide study to decarbonise the heating and cooling sector.
As talks on the EU’s renewable energy rules resume, one of the main talking points is how to decarbonise the heating sector, and deploy technologies like heat pumps and district heating. The International Energy Agency’s Ute Collier told EURACTIV in an interview that the task is complex and difficult.
The European Union’s proposed new biomass policy has enough built-in safeguards to ensure it doesn’t lead to additional carbon emissions, an EU official told a EURACTIV event last week, amid warnings that the policy risks making global warming worse by increasing deforestation.
As renewable energies gradually take control of power generation, the heating and cooling sector remains far behind, with fossil fuels – heating oil, gas or even coal – still making up 84% of Europe’s heating consumption.
Nordic countries have relegated fuel poverty to the history books by setting legal minimum standards for heating and giving house-owners a strong incentive to invest in refurbishment, says the mayor of the Swedish capital.
Cities are often leaders in climate action and ambition. National governments need to recognise this and empower them with the financial and technical means to complete their transition away from fossil fuels, writes Abdeluheb Choho.