EXPRESS #1 - December 7, 2018
Heating and cooling (H&C) of buildings is responsible for 50% of final energy consumption in Europe. So, on 28 November 2018, policymakers and industry gathered at the Committee of the Regions for the High-Level Round Table on the Decarbonisation of the Heating Sector, a joint event organised by the European Commission and the Decarb Heat Initiative partners to discuss plans for reducing emissions.
At present, most of the heating is produced from fossil fuels, only 19% is supplied from renewable energy sources, and heating is used inefficiently in 75% of Europe’s buildings.
Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy at the European Commission, outlined the fact that “the heating and cooling sector represents the largest source of energy demand in Europe. Our present system is often inefficient, polluting and based on old technologies. Making it smart, modern, clean and performant is instrumental for global decarbonisation and will be beneficial for our economy and all Europeans.”
“For buildings, we have just one shot at getting things right before 2050” said Jan te Bos, Director General of Eurima. “Given their expected lifetime, buildings are only likely to be renovated once, between now and 2050”. To make these renovations count, we need to look at the whole of the building. This means an energy-efficient “envelope” (the roofs, walls, floors and windows making up buildings) with properly planned heating and cooling systems, and an effective integration of renewable-energy systems and technologies”.
“Getting out of fossil fuels is pure politics – we still have politicians asking for support for coal mines… in 2018!” Bendt Bendtsen, Danish MEP
While the rest of us insulate our walls against the cold, someone needs to insulate us against the politics. Bendt Bendtsen, Danish MEP for the EPP group and rapporteur for the European Performance of Buildings Directive, stated: “Unfortunately, most national ministries see energy efficiency as an expenditure, not an investment.” He added: “Getting out of fossil fuels is pure politics – we still have politicians asking for supporting coal mines… in 2018!”