ITRE report on Heating and Cooling Strategy - A good signal, despite burdensome ‘technology-neutrality'

Jul. 13, 2016

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association:

‘Yesterday’s adoption of the ITRE report on the European Heating and Cooling Strategy is an important step for the EU’s climate and energy commitments. A full decarbonisation of the building stock by 2050 needs immediate action, including to phase out the use of inefficient fossil fuel boilers. This report points in the right direction. We also appreciate the recognition of heat pumps as important efficient and renewable solutions for both heating and cooling and the attention given to the need to improve their financial support. 

 

We are however concerned with the strong reference to ‘technology neutrality' in the report. Technology neutrality is too often connected to cost-competitiveness based on the current price situation. As long as the EU energy market is not properly working, ‘technology neutrality’ will lead to decisions incompatible with the necessary decarbonisation of the building stock. For the heating sector, this means supporting todays least cost fossil solutions – a choice Europe cannot afford . Instead, we reiterate our call to policy makers to name and support the best available technologies in light of the 2050 targets – based on objective and available tools such as the Energy label or nZEB calculation methods. This is what the industry, investors and consumers need.’