Renewable heating technologies currently cover around 15 percent of the heat demand and are expected to represent one-fifth of that demand by 2020. However, according to the heating and cooling industry, the new EC document fails on several points.
It lacks reference on renewables for heating and cooling as a means of improving security of supply and also fails to see the synergies between energy efficiency and renewable energy, particularly in the building sector. Furthermore, it fails to propose a strong, separate governance for renewables and energy efficiency to ensure consistency and comparability of Member States policies while also failing to recognise that the internal energy market cannot be completed if it is based solely on electricity and gas. A true internal energy market should cover heating as well, the industry representatives say.
However, the three organisations have welcomed the Commission’s announcement of new legislation for renewable energy, which should cover electricity as well as heating and the commitment to develop the next generation of renewable energy technologies. They also point out that the EC proposal should include the phasing out of fossil fuels, the need to address both energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and an appropriate balance of policies for renewable energy demand and supply. The financing of consumers higher upfront investment should also encompass the fuel switch to renewables in buildings.
These additional policies should help to create a truly successful Energy Union, the industry representatives believe.