EU renewable heat sector ‘risks missing 2020 targets’

The European renewable heating and cooling sector (RHC) risks not meeting its 2020 targets. That’s according to Nigel Cotton, Advisory Council Chairman at the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), who […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The European renewable heating and cooling sector (RHC) risks not meeting its 2020 targets.

That’s according to Nigel Cotton, Advisory Council Chairman at the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), who said although EU countries have achieved their interim goals, they are further away from meeting 21% of heat demand in the next four years.

Speaking at the Renewable Energy Association’s ‘EU-UK Energy Union’ conference in London, he added: “RHC is essential for the long term decarbonisation of the EU energy sector… More support policies are needed in order to meet the 2020 targets for RHC.”

Mr Cotton believes technologies that are already available must be used as they have the potential to help the industry exceed the 2020 targets by 4%.

RHC could also supply 50% of the heat used in Europe by 2030 and 100% by 2050, he said.

He believes biomass will be the most important source towards achieving the industry’s EU targets but adds: “As we get closer to 2020 we need to focus on the fastest deployable technologies such as solar thermal, geothermal biomass and heat pumps.

“A high ambition on energy efficiency must be matched with increased ambition for RHC too.”