Euroheat & Power, the international association for district heating and cooling, together with Professor Toby Peters, CEO of Dearman and Visiting Professor of Power and Cold Economy at the University of Birmingham, organised on 12 April the first European stakeholder roundtable on cooling.
Key stakeholders across the cooling sector shared experiences and thoughts on technologies, demands, best practices and barriers, and discussed next steps for future cooperation. The European Commission has already shown interest in participating and contributing to future actions launched after this meeting.
“Cooling is at the heart of many processes and industries – from the treatment of glass and metals at up to 2.000°C to cooling and refrigeration for food down to -18 °C. In between these temperatures cooling plays an important role for our own daily comfort, on the train, in the office or at home. This roundtable was a first successful step forward. We need to give cooling the deserved recognition as integral part of our life and the energy system.” concluded Euroheat & Power’s Ingo Wagner following the event.
Professor Toby Peters said: “For far too long any debate or discussion of energy policy has focused almost entirely on electricity. How we generate it, how we transmit it, how we use it and latterly how we store it. But energy demands are so much more complex. Cooling demand is already high, it is growing rapidly, and so is the environmental impact it creates. If we are to develop an energy system that meets the needs of people efficiently and sustainably, then we have to broaden the debate and have a meaningful discussion of how we can deliver energy as a service, not just electricity as a commodity. Today’s discussion, alongside the recent European Commission Heating and Cooling strategy, is an important step in the right direction. We won’t create a plan to deliver an integrated European energy system that maximises efficiency and minimises waste today, but we can start the process.”
This meeting is meant to be the first step towards stronger collaboration. Stakeholders agreed to work towards providing cooling a bigger role in the EU sphere, breaking the lack of awareness barrier and increasing support for research in the field.
Although cooling does not represent a big share of the energy market at the moment, the tendency will shift in the years to come. Therefore, the time to set the basis for a sustainable and efficient development of the cooling sector is now. We need to change the way in which we think about cold and to approach the matter in a holistic way.