In Europe, there is a clear long-term objective to decarbonise the energy system, but it is very unclear how this will be achieved in the heating and cooling sector. As a result, there is currently a lot of uncertainty among policymakers and investors in the heating and cooling sector, primarily due to a lack of knowledge about the long-term changes that will occur in the coming decades. HRE4 will enable new policies as well as prepare the ground for new investments by creating more certainty in relation to the changes that are required.
The overall aim in HRE4 is to develop low-carbon heating and cooling strategies, which are called Heat Roadmaps, and subsequently to quantify the impact of implementing them at a national level for 14 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Heat Roadmap Europe studies the heating and cooling sector in Europe, and quantifies the effects of increased energy efficiency on both the demand and supply side in terms of energy consumption, environmental impact, and costs. The combination of local mapping and energy system analysis shows both the local nature of heating and cooling, but also the impact that heating and cooling, which represents almost half the energy demand in Europe, has on our national energy systems.
This allows us to develop and assess scenarios that are inherently decentralised, but on a large scale. So far, previous Heat Roadmap Europe studies have concluded that energy efficiency in the heating sector, which primarily includes heat savings in buildings, district heating in urban areas, and heat pumps and solar thermal in rural areas, will result in a cheaper, more local, and far more renewable heating and cooling sector in the future.
The idea of Heat Roadmap Europe 4 is to test and develop these ideas over the next 3 years. By looking at the 14 largest consumers of heating and cooling in Europe, we will develop country-specific Roadmaps, but also be able to discuss the future of 85-90% of European heating and cooling demands.