New study highlights cost-saving effects of combining energy savings in buildings with district heating.
The European Union can save at least 100 billion EUR by comprehensively addressing heating and cooling in its Energy and Climate Framework 2030. The new study, which comes as the second component of a large research effort, was performed by Aalborg University, Halmstad University and Ecofys on the initiative of Euroheat & Power .
“Based on our analysis, we consider that while lowering energy consumption in buildings is essential, district heating and cooling are no-regrets options to lower the price tag under any scenario”, indicates Prof. Henrik Lund from Aalborg University “Re-designing the heat and cooling supply in Europe will contribute to making any chosen decarbonisation path more robust and affordable”, Prof. Sven Werner from Halmstad University added.
• Cheaper comfort
Rising energy prices and fuel poverty are a major concern for all European governments. The study shows that ambitious targets can be achieved while keeping comfort affordable and without compromising on quality of life and health. While being ambitious to the limit of what can realistically be deemed feasible in terms of future reduction of space heat demands, additional cost savings identified by refining the energy efficiency scenario originally proposed by the EU amount to at least EUR 100 billion/year and up to EUR 146 billion/year due to a reduction of the costs for the total heating and cooling supply for buildings in the range of 15 to 22%.
• Faster decarbonisation
Redesigning the heating and cooling supply as proposed in the study provides a fast-track solution to overcoming the constraints of compact urban environments and bringing renewable energies into cities. The HRE-EE scenario tables on the efficient use of combined heat and power, biomass, solar thermal, large-scale heat pumps, individual heat pumps, geothermal energy, as well as heat from waste incineration and excess heat from industry. At the same time, the HRE-EE scenario introduces additional flexibility to the EU-EE scenario that facilitates the integration of more wind and photovoltaic power in the electricity sector.
• Better energy
The HRE-EE scenario creates a more diverse energy supply than any other EU scenario, improves the security of supply and also creates welfare and jobs within smart communities in Europe. The HRE-EE scenario uses no-regrets technologies that ensure flexibility and help avoiding lock-in effects.
Frederic Hug, President of Euroheat & Power about the study “The identified cost reductions will benefit European citizens from the most vulnerable customer to businesses and ultimately Europe’s competitiveness. The study clearly shows that energy efficiency in buildings should not be considered in isolation but optimized by taking into account efficiency in energy supply, notably by expanding District Heating and Cooling."