Heat Roadmap Europe - Strategic heating transition typology as a basis for policy recommendations

Susana Paardekooper*, Henrik Lund, Jakob Zinck Thellufsen, Nis Bertelsen, Brian Vad Mathiesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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In order to support European-wide transition of heating systems, it is useful to categorise the types of transitions that are necessary. Coherent actions are needed at (supra-)national level to support transition aligned with the energy efficiency first principle and long-term development of a smart energy system. Owing to the decentralised nature of heating, transition must also reflect particular local circumstances. This article uses commonalities between countries to create a representative typology, which can suggest appropriate policies for transition. Following the energy efficiency first principle, transition should include supply-side and demand-side efficiency to ensure coherency and efficient use of resources. Their comparative analysis supports implementing the energy efficiency first principle locally, and a more coherent European strategy for the heating sector. Methodologically, 14 national heating strategies are considered which include current and future energy system developments, demand- and supply side energy efficiency, hectare-level thermal mapping and energy system analysis. Four heat sector types are proposed and discussed. These are (1) extant heat planning traditions, aiming for more efficiency and integration; (2) extant heating infrastructure, aiming to refurbish and upgrade both building stock and existing heating infrastructure; (3) existing gas infrastructure, requiring radical transition; (4) and those without strong historic heat planning traditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalEnergy Efficiency
Issue number5
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work presented builds heavily on the data and results generated in the Heat Roadmap Europe project, which was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program (GA 695989), and research funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark, grant number 6154-00022B RE-INVEST — Renewable Energy Investment Strategies — A two-dimensional interconnectivity approach project. The authors wish to thank the partners for their collaboration in this project. We also thank the reviewers for their substantial and constructive suggestions, which have helped improve and clarify this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • District heating
  • Energy efficiency
  • Heat infrastructure
  • Smart energy systems
  • Strategic energy planning


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