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European Union on-the-ground support for the 2016 Heating and Cooling strategy

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© Matthew Hertel

For the first time, a single document has been drafted by the European Commission providing an overview of  the activities and projects funded by EU programmes supporting the EU heating and cooling strategy which was adopted in February 2016.


Amounting to 50% of final energy consumption in the EU, heating and cooling represents the biggest energy use and is expected to remain so. The Commission’s heating and cooling strategy makes it clear that demand reduction and the deployment of renewable energy and other sustainable sources, such as waste heat, have a great potential for reducing fossil fuel imports and ensuring security of energy supply, while ensuring affordable provision of energy for the end consumer.


As demonstrated in the new EC report Overview of support activities and projects of the European Union on energy efficiency and renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector, a number of activities and projects funded by EU programmes are supporting the EU heating and cooling strategy adopted in early 2016. In the period between 2011 and 2016, a total of € 166 million of EU funding has been allocated to research, demonstration and market uptake of energy efficient, low carbon and renewable heating and cooling solutions. This includes support under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) and its predecessors: the former Seventh Framework (FP7) and Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programmes.   


There is already a wide range of proven technologies and solutions available on the market although more effort is needed to increase their market share, whilst further research and innovation is required to improve and develop technologies and solutions that allow the full exploitation of the potential of low carbon and renewable energy sources for heating and cooling. Against this background, the programmes of the EU provide direct support to the objectives of the heating and cooling strategy in the following areas:


  •  Research and development of new and improved heating and cooling supply technologies using renewable energy sources for applications in buildings and industry.
  • Research and development of innovative concepts, as well as of improved controls, for district heating and cooling networks, to maximise the uptake of residual and renewable sources of thermal energy.
  • Development of integrated solutions of thermal energy storage for applications in the building sector.
  • Research and development of heat recovery solutions in industrial processes.
  • Demonstration of innovative solutions for integration with smart grids.
  • Support to the acceleration in the market of proven and mature energy efficiency and renewable heating and cooling technologies.


For further information on the EU Heating and Cooling strategy, see the relevant BUILD UP News and Publications:


European Commission presents sustainable energy security package


COM(2016) 51 final: An EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling


An EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling - Factsheet


Market uptake activities for the Heating and Cooling Strategy