EU Acknowledges Huge Heating and Cooling Potential

  • Industry News
  • 16 February 2016
  • by Danfoss
Hamburg-HafenCity Danfoss
Hamburg Hafen Cicy / Danfoss

In a new strategy released today, the European Commission acknowledges – for the first time at this level – the huge potential that lies in efficient heating and cooling. Danfoss sees this as a very positive political signal and an important step in reaching Europe’s climate and energy targets and boosting competitiveness. District energy and heat distribution systems are identified as key technologies.


Heating and cooling consume half of the EU’s energy, and much of it is wasted due to inefficient systems in buildings and the supply side. Actually, two thirds of the EU’s buildings were built when energy efficiency requirements were limited or non-existent. This, for example, means that there are more than 500 million manual radiator valves in the EU waiting to be changed into thermostats that are up to 46% more efficient.


The new heating and cooling strategy is an important first step in realizing the huge potential across the EU, which will help reduce energy imports and dependency, cut costs for households and businesses, and meet the EU’s climate and energy targets. This strategy provides a framework for integrating efficient heating and cooling into EU energy policies, by focusing on action to end energy waste, maximize efficiency and reap the benefits of an integrated approach to heating, cooling and electricity.


Fleming Voetmann, Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, says: “Since Europe is a leader in energy-efficient technologies, I am convinced that the heating and cooling strategy will path our way towards a more competitive and energy secure European Union. The technologies and solutions to make the transition are ready, and we look forward to working together with our peers and industry associations such as Euroheat and Power, eu.bac and EuroACE to implement the strategy. It’s very positive to see that the European Commission now is thinking power, heating and cooling together in one holistic approach.”


The European Commission identifies expansion of district energy networks as one of the biggest opportunities for Europe. Today, district heating only provides 9% of the EU’s heating demand – even though it is the most efficient way to supply heating in populated areas and can utilize surplus heat from power plants and industry that is otherwise wasted. Actually, the amount of surplus heat in Europe has been estimated to be equal to all of the heat demand in buildings, so the potential is enormous.


At the same time, district energy systems can integrate any kind of renewable energy sources, which is crucial to be able to utilize as much wind and solar as possible. District energy also makes it possible to store energy and balance demand and supply according to the availability of renewable sources. The same goes for supermarkets or data centers that are also highlighted in the strategy as an area where a lot of energy can be saved in the cooling process. Danfoss experiences show that energy savings of up to 50% are possible with smart store solutions.


Fleming Voetmann concludes: “We have all the technologies and solutions needed, let’s start implementing the heating and cooling strategy today to reach EU’s climate and energy targets and boost competitiveness”.


Source: Danfoss

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