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Five pathways for decarbonising heating and cooling

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Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay

“If we intend to take the Paris Agreement seriously, we will have to accelerate the deployment of renewable technologies in heating and cooling.”


This statement by REN21 Executive Director Rana Adib during a webinar in late November explains why the organisation has just published another report titled Renewable Energy Policies in the Time of Transition, now with a focus on heating and cooling (HC).


The report contains not only the accumulated expertise of REN21’s vast partner network but also that of two other major (clean) energy organisations, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Their first joint policy assessment was published in 2018.


The report describes five transformation pathways – renewables-based electrification, renewable gases, sustainable biomass, and the direct use of solar thermal and geothermal heat – and identifies policy instruments that could overcome their barriers and increase their uptake.


Each pathway has its own chapter in the report and together, they form the biggest section of the document. There is also an entire chapter that is dedicated to district heating and cooling and goes beyond the pathways, which shows how important the topic has become. 


Chapter 6, which focuses on the direct use of solar-generated heat, identifies several key barriers to deployment, including high initial costs, issues caused by a less developed supply chain, and a lack of promotion and public acceptance.


Policy remedies recommended by the report’s authors consist of incentive schemes, renewables obligations for solar heat, action plans and public campaigns. 


Read the full article here.