Decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector: coupling efficiency and renewables with security of heat supply

As 41% of natural gas is used for heating of buildings, EU’s heavy dependency on its import from Russia makes the European heating sector highly vulnerable. Clean energy such as renewables and waste heat for heating must be a pillar of the EU’s energy security strategy, as they are vital to reduce energy dependency.

The session is covering various aspects of renewables and their uptake in the heating (and cooling) sector, strongly associated with the topics of energy efficiency. In addition to addressing the role of biomass and waste-heat, the main focus of the session will be on geothermal energy and its role in the decarbonisation of the heating sector.

There are over 5,000 district heating systems in Europe, including 280 Geothermal District Heating (geo-DH) systems and another 200 projects under development. The ability to use geothermal resources to generate heat in urban areas where the demand is greatest has the potential to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and to support national and EU sustainable energy policies. Using geothermal resources can provide economic development opportunities for countries especially in regions where there are still largely untapped resources, like in Central and Southeast Europe.

Presentations will highlight various technical and non-technical aspects and barriers of renewables and waste heat, especially geothermal energy in order to 

  • provide a realistic and complex overview on utilization possibilities in the heating and cooling sector
  • clarify the possible contributions to future energy policies and expected targets, foster their deeper penetration in relevant EU and national energy (and climate) policies

The session will provide an easy-to-understand and overall state-of-the art picture, instead of going into technical details, therefore participants are warmly welcome from all different fields including politicians, decision makers, layers, representatives of the financial sector and other non-technical experts, as well as the wider public.

After the presentations time will be allocated for the audience to express their views and engage in a discussion with the speakers.