Nordic heating & cooling

  • Publications
  • by Nordic Council of Ministers

Heating and cooling in buildings and industry account for half of the EU’s energy consumption. 75% of heating and cooling in the EU is still generated from fossil fuels while only 16% is generated from renewable energy. There is a lot of room for efficiency improvements to reduce the emissions and at the same time the cost for energy users. According to the EU commission, the heating and cooling sector must sharply reduce its energy consumption and cut its use of fossil fuels in order to meet the EU’s climate and energy goals.


The EU’s heating and cooling strategy was published in February 2016, and later on, on November 30th 2016, the European Commission came out with an extensive package of specific directive proposals referred to as EU Winter/Clean Energy Package. Several of these directives also have impact on the heating and cooling sectors. All the Nordic countries implement EU directives – even Norway and Iceland as non- EU member states through the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement.


The Nordic Council of Ministers has commissioned Pöyry Management Consulting to analyse the current approached and views of each of the Nordic countries towards the proposed strategy and regulation, and to identify possible common interests of the Nordic countries. The work has been carried out based on publicly available information on the heating and cooling markets and regulation in each of the Nordic countries, as well as on interviews with energy regulators and energy industry representatives of the Nordic countries. The report focuses especially on space heating markets in the Nordics, and on district heating due to its generally significant position in the Nordics. The views presented in this report are based on Pöyry’s interpretations and do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or recommendations of the Nordic Council of Ministers.


This study includes description of the specific conditions in the Nordic heating and cooling markets, and provides examples of success stories in the heating and cooling in the Nordic countries. There are several good examples of introducing new technological solutions in heating and cooling markets and energy efficiency achievements of the Nordics are significant both in the end-user side and production side. Combined production of electricity and heat (CHP) is very well utilized especially in Sweden and Finland. Energy efficiency of the buildings has been long developed taking into account the cold climate of Nordics.


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