Together, heating and cooling represent the largest energy sector today, but by redesigning the energy systems in Europe using only proven and market available technologies, it is possible to combine end-use savings with heat pumps and district heating and cooling using excess heat, efficiency and renewable sources to stay within the 1,5 - 2°C global temperature change threshold. To decarbonise and reduce energy system costs, fossil fuel consumption is replaced with energy efficiency and renewable energy. This has the potential to significantly improve the balance of payments compared to today and create more jobs in Europe when increasing expenditures on local energy efficiency and use of local resources . It also creates a heat supply which more resilient to fuel price fluctuations, as more expenses are tied to investments. The scenario development in HRE makes it evident that by 2050:
- CO2 emissions can be reduced by 4.340 Mton or 86% compared to 1990 using only known technology in the heating and cooling sector. This is in line with the Paris Agreement and approaches a nearly zero carbon energy system.
- By redesigning the heating and cooling sector the total costs of decarbonisation can be reduced by 6% annually compared to conventional methods of decarbonisation. In all future scenarios less financial resources are spent on fuels and more on investments.
- The use of fossil fuels in HRE can be reduced by almost 10.400 TWh in 2050 compared to the 2015 reference. This also influences the amount of investments needed and balance of payments. HRE would heavily reduce the need for natural gas imports. The amount of natural gas decreases in HRE 2050 by about 87% compared to the 2015 reference, the remainder only being used in industry and flexible combined heat and power. In 2016 54% of the energy consumption was met by imports, 88% of oil was imported and 70% of the consumed natural gas was imported . The imported natural gas had a value of €50-65 billion in 016.
- Natural gas and inefficient electric heating in buildings can be phased out. Such solutions can be replaced by a combination of refurbishment and end use savings, individual heat pumps and district heating using excess heat and heat from renewable sources. Since renewable energy covers 87% of the total primary energy supply in HRE, and the remaining fossil fuels are primarily in transport, industry, and flexible combined heat and power, almost all of the heating and cooling demands is covered sustainably.
- The solutions proposed are in line with the Smart Energy System approach enabling a conversion towards 100% renewable energy .
|Number of pages||97|
|Publication status||Published - 5 Oct 2018|