The heating and cooling sector represents almost 50% of our energy consumption and is therefore key to decarbonise our entire energy system. RES-HC such as geothermal, solar thermal, biomass and heat pumps are today mature and available options to replace fossil fuels. However, important barriers remain, and multiple policy instruments are necessary for addressing the impediments that are preventing the uptake of renewable energy technologies.
On the consumers’ side, the main barriers to RES-HC deployment are the lack of awareness on available renewable solutions and financing difficulties in the face of an often higher initial investment cost compared to fossil installations. On the manufacturers’ side, the major barriers encountered are unfair market conditions and the lack of a stable and coherent supportive policy framework.
Therefore, in order to support the deployment of RES-HC solutions, two important things are needed:
The paper also emphasises on the importance of the building sector, representing almost 30% of EU total energy consumption, to decarbonise the energy system and gives recommendations to foster a switch to RES heating appliances in existing and new buildings. It stresses the importance of architects and installers in increasing awareness among final consumers.
In addition, the paper highlights the necessity to develop long-term decarbonisation roadmaps, with clear and coherent national plans and milestones for 2030 and 2050.