• 02 Oct 2019

    Heating and cooling - A great potential for decarbonisation!

    Heating and cooling is getting higher on the agenda as it holds huge potential for decarbonising the energy system. Whereas cities are taking bold actions to build new infrastructures and ban fossil fuel boilers, the industry sector is releasing a 2050 vision highlighting that “cities can and must show leadership in this area and decisions must be taken locally”.


    Covenant signatory city Vienna is banning fossil boilers

    More and more European countries are taking actions to ban the installation of fossil boilers (especially for new buildings), like the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. But cities are also taking the lead without waiting for their national governments to take action. One of the latest examples is the city of Vienna, Austria. The city council is planning the creation of so-called “climate protection areas” in which "the heating, cooling and hot water treatment of the newly constructed buildings must be carried out either via renewable sources such as geothermal energy, solar energy, biomass or district heating", according to the city’s Head of energy planning Bernd Vogl.By next summer, energy plans for all districts will be issued and define these climate protection areas. It makes sense knowing that lifespan of gas boilers is around 20 years and that GHG emissions must be halved by 2030 to stay below a 1.5°C temperature increase according to the IPPC.

    Careful planning is key

    In addition to bold regulations, new infrastructures are also needed to decarbonise heating and cooling energy consumption. South Dublin City Council, Ireland, is currently developing a 4th generation district and cooling (DHC) network to recover waste heat from a data centre. This new generation of DHC consists of a low temperature distribution network that minimises heat losses, supplies multiple low energy buildings, and integrates renewable energy and low carbon energy sources. However, building such complex infrastructures requires a careful planning process, based on a comprehensive mapping of energy demand and heat sources. As part of the Interreg HeatNet NWE project, South Dublin City Council published a transition roadmap for developing district heating : it provides very interesting guidance in energy master planning process and emphasises the importance of good quality techno-economic analysis. Readers can also find useful information about stakeholders’ engagement, policy measures, business models, and procurement process.

    Upcoming events: Share and learn about local heating & cooling actions

    A lot of events related to the heating and cooling sector will take place across Europe in the coming months. They provide a great opportunity for Covenant of Mayors signatories to showcase their actions and gain knowledge!