DG Energy has published a new brochure "Renewables make the difference", which acknowledges the huge potential of renewable energy for heating and cooling.
"However, as renewable energy sources account for only 12 % of total heating and cooling, this is far from being realised." Heat pumps are reported to contribute 2.2 Mtoe to total heat needs in the EU-27 - i.e. about 0.4% (EUROSTAT 2008 data based on the countries that reported available information - see p.7).
As for primary energy production, geothermal represented 3.9% of EU's renewable energy sources in 2008.
"In Europe, the heat pump is the most promising way of using geothermal energy." Geothermal energy - illustrated by the GROUND-MED project (p.20) - is thus supported as a RES that:
- reduces greenhouse gas emissions,
- uses an inexhaustible source,
- can supply heating directly,
- needs less land than other energy resources,
- is continuously available.
Renewable energies are set to produce increasing amounts of both electricity and heating by 2020 and 2030 — with projections showing a significant growth of heat pumps: approx. 100,000 GWh in 2020, and 300,000 GWh in 2030 (see graph on p.23).