Overview of support activities and projects of the European Union on energy efficiency and renewable energy in the heating & cooling sector

Original article published on BUILDUp (The European portal for energy efficiency in buildings)

Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 and Intelligent Energy Europe programmes  of the European Union

This document by the European Commission provides an overview of the EU-funded projects in the area of heating and cooling. It focuses on a number of activities and projects funded by EU programmes supporting the EU heating and cooling strategy which was adopted in February 2016.

The report demonstrates that in the period between 2011 and 2016, a total of € 166 million of EU funding has been allocated to research, demonstration and market uptake of  energy efficient, low carbon and renewable heating and cooling solutions. This includes support under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation (2014-2020) and its predecessors: the former Seventh Framework (FP7) and Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programmes.  Actions supported by these programmes include research, innovation and demonstration of energy efficient and renewable heating and cooling solutions. Support is also provided for the demonstration of innovative approaches and for the integration of sustainable heating and cooling infrastructure in EU cities.

Via market uptake actions, support is being provided to overcome the nontechnological barriers hindering the uptake of energy efficiency and renewable heating and cooling solutions.

Finally, public and private bodies are being supported in developing bankable sustainable energy investments through projects financed by dedicated technical assistance facilities. A number of these projects aim at launching investments for large scale heating and cooling infrastructure including district energy projects using local low carbon and renewable energy sources.

According to the report, more research and innovation is required to further improve and develop technologies and solutions that allow exploiting the full potential of low carbon and renewable energy sources for heating and cooling. There is already a wide range of proven technologies and solutions available on the market although more is needed to increase their market share. Against this background, the programmes of the EU come to provide direct support to the objectives of the heating and cooling strategy supporting actions in vital areas.

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