District heating: working towards local sustainable solutions

The climate neutrality ambition established in the European Green Deal requires efficient solutions for sustainable energy. In this session, the European Covenant of Mayors, COGEN Europe and CEDEC are joining forces to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on district heating (DH) as a sustainable energy solution on the local level, and share experiences.

Local and efficient energy generation will be key for delivering on all dimensions of the new Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – decarbonisation, just transition, competitiveness, resource efficiency, local & regional action and consumer empowerment.

DH is a solution for clean, sustainable and affordable energy. It enables tapping local resources, creating locals and a greener economy. By enabling the use of sustainable heat sources, it can contribute to the EU goal of an annual increase of renewable and residual heat & cold in the heating & cooling consumption by 1.3 p.p.. Cogeneration can supply heat to DHC, while supporting grids at times of peak demand.

However, developing infrastructures such as DH face challenges of integrated planning, stakeholder engagement, high up-front investments and long-term return on investment. Also, the significant contribution of these solutions is yet to be fully considered in the EU & national long-term strategies.

European Covenant of Mayors

Since 2008, more than 10.000 European cities and towns have committed to the Covenant of Mayors. This movement has not only been supporting EU ambitions on emissions reductions & climate action, but also pushing it forward. Mayors have been mobilising citizens, bringing others on board, and leading the way on the energy & climate transition.

COGEN Europe

COGEN Europe, the European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration, is the cross-sectoral voice of the cogeneration industry. The European cogeneration sector is committed to creating a resilient, decentralised & carbon neutral European energy system by 2050 with cogeneration as its backbone, empowering citizens & industry to generate efficient, reliable and affordable clean heat & power locally.


CEDEC is the European Federation of Local and Regional Energy Companies. Since 1992, CEDEC has been  advocating the interests of over 1500 local & regional companies. The decarbonized, decentralized & digital energy system in 2050 will require locally integrated energy systems, with innovative solutions, connec


Director, Energy, Public Affairs Department
Process manager & advisor on urban sustainability
Municipality of Rotterdam
Secretary General
Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament
European Parliament
Policy Officer - DG Energy
European Commission
Policy analyst on energy and infrastructure
Independent consultant