Reaction from the Renewable Heating & Cooling Industry on the Framework Strategy

REACTION FROM THE RENEWABLE HEATING & COOLING INDUSTRY ON THE FRAMEWORK STRATEGY FOR A RESILIENT ENERGY UNION WITH A FORWARD-LOOKING CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY

The European Commission has launched today its “Framework strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy”.

Today Renewable Heating technologies cover some 15% of the heat demand and by 2020 are expected to represent one-fifth of the heat demand. The Biomass, Geothermal and Solar Thermal sectors are committed to actively support a transition to an energy policy which is fair to all EU citizens, provides a level-playing field for all actors across the EU, and aims at the goals of efficiency, sustainability, security and conservation of the local and world-wide environment.

Following the publication of the Strategic Framework, we regret that the Commission’s proposal:

Lacks reference on renewables for heating and cooling to improve security of supply;

Fails to see the synergies between energy efficiency and renewable energy, notably in the building sector;

Fails to propose a strong, separate governance for renewables and energy efficiency to ensure consistency and comparability of Member States’ policies;

Fails to recognise that the internal energy market cannot be completed if only based on electricity and gas. A true internal energy market should cover heating as well.

However, we welcome the Commission’s announcement of new legislation for renewable energy, which should cover electricity as well as heating and the commitment to develop the next generation of renewable energy technologies.

For a successful Energy Union, we strongly believe that it should include the following additional action points:

The swift phase-out of fossil fuels, for example in 2012 the gas sector was still flooded with €6.5 bn in subsidies;

The need for the announced Heat Strategy to address both energy efficiency and renewable energy sources which are complementary, and to include an appropriate balance of policies for the renewable energy demand and supply;

The financing of consumers’ higher upfront investment should also encompass the fuel switch to renewables in buildings;

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