Cooling targets for renewable energy use set out in new EU directive

European Commission aims for at least 32 per cent of total EU energy use to come from renewable sources by 2030; specific annual commitments established for cooling and heating installations.

A new European Commission agreement to ensure renewable energy accounts for at least 32 per cent of the EU’s overall power needs by 2030 has been published. The proposals include specific provisions for cooling and heating functions that will come into effect over the next three years.

Under a provisional deal for a revised renewable energy directive, the industry will be required to increase its use of renewables in cooling installations and heating systems on an annual basis by 1.3 per over a five-year period that commences in 2021.

The commission said in a statement that, “Member states must ensure that information on energy performance and the share of renewables in their district heating and cooling systems is provided to final consumers in an accessible manner.”

“Customers of district heating or cooling systems that are not efficient are allowed to terminate their contracts in order to produce heating or cooling from renewable energy sources themselves.”

The commission added that the directive, which will require the formal approval of the European Parliament and Council over the next few months, is intended to meet wider international initiatives such as the commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement.

An acceleration in both public and private sector investment around innovative new approaches to renewable energy use are also anticipated to result from the new directive/

The renewable energy directive is designed to serve as one of eight components of a package of measures known as ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ programme.

This package includes other EU directives such as focuses around the energy performance of buildings and energy efficiency.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said that the directive was an important part of efforts to transform the regional energy market.

He said, “I am particularly pleased with the new European target of 32 per cent. The binding nature of the target will also provide additional certainty to the investors. I now call on the European Parliament and the Council to continue negotiating with the same commitment and complete the rest of the proposals of the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package. This will put us on the right path towards the long-term strategy that the commission intends to present by the end of this year”.