Major enhancements made to European energy planning tool

  • News
  • 26 October 2017
  • by ICLEI Europe, Aalborg University

An EU-funded research project, Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE), has added major new features to its energy planning tool. The Pan-European Thermal Atlas (Peta4), assesses heating and cooling demand, efficiency, and supply across Europe, supporting cities and industry in their efforts to decarbonise the heating and cooling sector.


A free interactive online map, it gives visual and technical data on the location and scale of heating and cooling datasets, and its latest update, Peta4.2, incorporates various innovative new features. Map users can search for a specific location, then select and combine up to ten layers of information.


The layers together create a detailed picture of where heating networks and low-carbon technology solutions could be implemented, whether they are economically viable, and how new networks could meet current heating and cooling demand.


Some of the new categories that the maps display include: a distribution costs layer that identifies areas where district heating infrastructure investments are most cost-effective;  renewable resources layers that show regional and local potential for carbon-free sources, including geothermal, solar, and biomass sources; and a Heat Synergy Regions layer that compares heat demand with nearby sources of excess heat in a defined area, thereby helping to identify regional planning priorities.


Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, declares that Peta4 will be a key aid in efforts to meet Europe’s heating and cooling demand: “Heating and cooling needs are different across Europe, requiring tailored efficient solutions to meet them. The Energy Efficiency Directive calls on Member States to use thermal maps to start determining these solutions – Peta4 will be valuable for many of them.”


Bendt Bendtsen, MEP, and member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and rapporteur for the Energy Performance of Building Directive, also commented on the importance of the Peta4 atlas: “We spend more than 40 % of Europe’s energy consumption in buildings, so the potential is significant to lower the bills of Europeans and lower the EU’s dependence on energy imports. Peta4.2 can form a valuable tool to achieve this – more efficient heating and cooling, and improved utilisation of the energy we produce in Europe.”


The tool is the perfect basis for European governments, businesses, consultants, academics, and planners to make informed decisions about investments in energy efficiency measures and use of untapped alternative energy sources for heating and cooling. It will also support the implementation of European climate commitments, ensure wiser investment of public money, reduce costs for consumers, and cut carbon emissions and energy consumption.


To access the Peta4 maps, please visit:



Peta4 covers the 14 EU member states that are participating in the Heat Roadmap Europe project. Developed by project partners at Halmstad University, European University Flensburg, and Aalborg University, the maps use openly accessible spatial geo-data from the European Commission, the European Environmental Agency, and Eurostat.


The Heat Roadmap Europe 4 project is mapping and modelling the heating and energy systems of the 14 largest users of heat in the EU, to develop new policies at local, national, and EU level to ensure the uptake of efficient, sustainable and affordable heating and cooling solutions.

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