Electrification of heating in the EU: local systems embrace the potential of new technology

Though most legacy systems in Europe rely on fossil fuels for heating houses and companies, new systems are looking to power-to-heat technology as a low-carbon alternative, according to Euractiv’s article.

One of the most significant causes of climate change is something most people don’t think about: the temperature in their houses and workplaces. According to Eurostat, the residential heating and cooling sector contributes to about half of the European Union’s total gross final consumption of energy. Heating needs account for nearly all of that.

60% of Europe’s heating requirements are for space and water heating, with a third for industrial heating. Despite the importance of decarbonizing this sector, progress has been modest.

According to Eurostat, the EU failed to meet its headline 20% energy-saving target for 2020, and renewables now only make up 24.8% of the heating and cooling sector’s final energy consumption.

District heating networks in Europe are primarily legacy systems that rely on fossil fuels. Pipes typically deliver excess heat from a power station or industrial plant to heat houses and offices in the nearby region.

However, there is high potential for integrating current distribution systems with new energy sources. Some stakeholders argue that power-to-heat technologies, which use renewable energy for heating, could be an effective option.

Power-to-heat technologies, which convert electricity into heat, have the potential to increase the use of renewable energy in the local heating market. Power-to-heat technology could be especially useful in large heating systems, which are the most challenging to decarbonize due to their enormous heat demand and a lack of local renewables.

District heating providers in Poland have expressed a particular interest in the technology, citing the country’s long history of district heating as well as a pressing need to decarbonize through innovative solutions.

According to experts, the benefit of this technique is that it allows for decarbonization in district heating while also contributing to renewable energy deployment in order to achieve the required share of renewable fuel.

The European Commission is likewise interested in this technology, although it has not yet introduced any laws to encourage its usage.

EU politicians need to devote more effort to elaborate solutions on this issue. According to experts, the availability of new renewable energy sources has created new chances to decarbonize district heating and cooling. However, the EU still needs to establish dedicated legislation on this subject.

Source: Euractiv

Read all articles by Insight News Media on Google News, subscribe and follow.
Scroll to Top