Within the informal meeting held on 15-16 April in Riga the EU Energy Ministers held a high-level debate on two important dimensions of the Energy Union – energy efficiency issues, with particular reference to the heating and cooling sector, and on regional cooperation in the energy sector.
The meeting was chaired by Ms Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Latvian Minister for Economic Affairs. The European Commission was represented by Mr Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
“Since our last meeting many important steps were taken in order to ensure the successful implementation of the Energy Union,” in the opening of the informal meeting of the EU Energy Ministers stressed Latvian Minister for Economic Affairs. Energy efficiency is one of the core pillars of the Energy Union. It has a major impact on reduction of the energy demand and on increasing the efficient use of resources, thus making the EU economy more competitive. It also helps to ensure a higher level of energy security in the EU.
Energy ministers discussed the heating and cooling issues and the opportunities to find common solutions for development of the district heating and cooling within energy efficiency framework. The key topics of discussion were the main barriers to the effective heating and cooling market, issues addressing district heating, and access to financing for cost effective and sustainable heating and cooling.
Energy ministers had agreed, that the EU Heating and cooling strategy is needed. The ministers concluded, that the use of synergies, for example, use of hybrid systems, integration of renewable and/or indigenous resources, available technologies, in heating and cooling sectors is very important element. In addition it was highlighted the effectiveness principle, especially regarding the project development and implementation, the investment savings and cost savings for consumers.
“The Presidency believes that a common EU strategy for heating and cooling should set a vision for the sector to enable the use of synergies and get the maximum benefit for consumers, the environment and the economy,” emphasized Latvian Minister for Economic Affairs, Ms Dana Reizniece-Ozola.
Based on the Energy Ministers’ discussion, the Presidency will prepare a summary note as a contribution to the EU strategy for heating and cooling, which the Commission will introduce in the coming months.