Energy efficient and renewable heating solutions: double benefit for Europe?

| On Wednesday 9 April 2014 the Greek Presidency of the EU and the European Heat Pump Association jointly hosted the event “Energy efficient and renewable solutions towards the European energy efficiency target with a double benefit”.

Paul Hodson, Head of Unit in DG ENER was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s (09 April 2014) event. Asked on whether or not Europe would be able to achieve the indicative energy efficiency target, he presented a slightly optimistic view.

In his introduction of the event Hodson presented some evidence to support this position. According to Hodson there are three factors supporting his opinion:

1. Current economic activity is below expectation as is the demand for energy
2. Member States have to transform the results of energy efficiency measures into primary energy, a fact that leaves some optimisation potential due to an ever increasing primary energy factor and last,
3. The modelling of the target trajectory is still based on an older version of PRIMES.

The new model to be set up within the current reporting period will be more precise and also integrate the latest policy measures such as the implementation of Ecodesign for boilers and water heaters. Other studies by the Fraunhofer Institute show that a meticulous implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) will make achieving 20% possible.

Hodson showed understanding for the importance of the heating sector and stated further that it will have to be addressed in the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), especially for the residential sector. “Heat pumps are great”, he continued and “Member States have already been thinking about them in their “heat” plans”.

The technology’s benefits were highlighted by Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of EHPA, and showed the near 100% match with the Commission’s targets for 2020 and beyond. "Heat pumps are using local energy and provide local employment - both aspects can not be underestimated in the current difficult economic situation and at times, where supply security is severely questioned due to the geopolitical developments". Nowak went further “Achieving the energy efficiency targets is not a matter of technology development; it is a matter of implementation of regulation. Member States should support existing technologies to fully reap their benefits towards the targets.”

Philippe Nellissen (Emerson Climate Technologies) said, “Industrial processes show a lot of potential for using industrial heat pump applications. It is often overlooked, though, because of lack of knowledge. Industrial heat pump solutions will help Europe to decrease energy dependency and increase energy efficiency.

Even though it is true that subsidies and financial measures are available for several renewable technologies in Europe, heat pumps have not yet received aid from the states. “The new electricity tariffs that have been introduced in 2014 in Italy and UK could trigger a larger uptake of heat pumps” said Marco Grisot (Clivet).

Stamatis Sivitos (ECOS) argued “A single European energy label for comparable heating systems will bring consumers to the best available technology and that was a success.” He expects that about 45Mtoe can be saved through Ecodesign/Energy labelling by 2020 (which is about 12% of the 2020 target). The label for heating systems would play a significant role in this endeavour.


Note on the event

The first part of the presentations gave insight on residential, commercial and industrial applications with a special focus on Greece and Italy. In the second part examples from district heating in Denmark were presented and the views of an environmental NGO on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling for heating systems were thoroughly discussed. For more information about the presentations please click here.

Download the press release here