The Commission’s Fit for 55 package is a key step in the right direction to make Europe’s heating and cooling sector sustainable. More ambition is needed, but the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) supports the proposed revision of EU legislation to achieve 55% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030. It will improve market conditions for electrified efficient and renewable heating in Europe.
EHPA lauds the Commission for combining the introduction of carbon pricing for transport and buildings, with an extensive mechanism (the Climate Social Fund) to support low-income households in Europe. One cannot go without the other. The CO2 price on fossil fuels contributes to a level playing field. And the new social measures will help address the energy poverty issue in Europe, for instance by increasing the renovation rate of old buildings, and social housing.
Where this set of measures underpinning the European Green Deal really needs improvement, is in the proposed review of the Renewable Energy Directive. We judge the mandatory increase of renewable energy in heating and cooling with 1.1% per year (article 23), to be insufficient. Technology is available to contribute to faster growth. Hence this figure must and can be doubled at least 2% increase per year. Not doing so will risk achieving the EUs own target of 49% renewable energy in housing by 2030.
According to the Commission’s own calculations, 40% of residential and 65% of commercial buildings in the EU need to be heated with electricity by 2030.1 For this to happen, Europe needs to quadruple the heat pump stock over the next decade. Currently, 13.3 million heat pumps are heating homes, offices, and entire districts in the EU; by 2030 this figure should be at least 50 million, and this is not including industrial energy demand.
The heat pump industry – represented by EHPA - is ready to deliver and can scale up. Europe’s electricity grid can also handle 50 million heat pumps without any problems, according to expert opinion. But market conditions for heat pumps need to improve drastically and citizens need to be helped with advice and subsidies to switch from fossil fuel boilers to heat pump solutions.
“After targeting coal power plants and stimulating the uptake of electric vehicles, heat pumps are the next low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change,” says Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of EHPA. “Decarbonising heating and cooling results in enormous reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The technology is readily available. Now heat pumps need full support by EU Member States for the required massive deployment in Europe, if we want to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”
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Note to the editor
EHPA promotes awareness and deployment of heat pump technology in Europe. All activities aim at creating a market environment that facilitates a faster deployment of heat pump technology to unleash its benefits on a European level: efficient heating and cooling using renewable energy. EHPA also coordinates the Heat Pump Keymark – a European certification scheme for all heat pumps, combination heat pumps and hot water heater.
For more information, please visit: www.ehpa.org