The Commission’s DG for Energy recently published a new report that demands more measures to boost the renewable energy sector. The document titled Competitiveness of the Renewable Energy Sector was done in collaboration with Solar Heat Europe and other associations representing the renewable heating and cooling industry.
The report highlights that investing in the renewables sector can provide major benefits in terms of competitiveness of EU industry.
How to increase the competitiveness of the renewable energy sector?
According to the results, renewable heating and cooling solutions are available and effective on the market, but more policy measures are still needed to further deploy them in the market and make them more competitive. The European Commission’s proposes potential solutions that would provide a greater boost to renewable energies:
- Ease administrative costs and barriers
- Recognise the important role of installers
- Support energy consumers
- Develop efficient support schemes
- Create a European heating and cooling market where carbon prices are internalised
- Remove the current bias towards fossil-fuel solutions by upgrading the skills and awareness of installers and technology buyer and making less complex the technical requirements, certification, standardisation and licensing requirements in Europe to open up local markets.
This should be also in line with the European 32% target for renewables in 2030 and the measures and trajectories member States must present in their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).
Case study: Silkeborg by Arcon-Sunmark, the largest solar district heating plant in the world
To complement the results, four case studies are presented, one for each technology. For the solar thermal sector, the choice of the case study was the Arcon-Sunmark plant in Silkeborg (Denmark), which is currently the largest solar district heating plant in the world which:
- supplies the 20% of the annual district heating demand
- reduces 15.000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year
The report estimates that the four main renewable heating and cooling solutions (biomass, biogas, heat pumps and solar-thermal segments which represents the 93% of the EU H&C industry) already account for more than 650 000 full-time jobs and accrued a combined turnover of EUR 67.2 billion in 2017.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the Danish consultancy COWI, the Brussels-based think tank CEPS and the support of an ad hoc advisory board composed by associations representing the RHC industry. As part of the advisory board, Solar Heat Europe was directly involved in the development and revision of the text, which will be soon presented in a dedicated stakeholder workshop on October 8th.
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