Renewable energies for heating and cooling
The gas supply situation is becoming increasingly serious:
- Russia is reducing or cutting off gas supplies,
- a fire at the Texas LNG plant in Freeport has caused a week-long outage
- and Pakistan’s energy crisis is so dramatical that the country is now rushing to buy up large quantities of LNG (liquefied natural gas) to prevent blackouts.
Events that drive the price of gas higher and higher.
With heating accounting for nearly 40 percent of total gas consumption in the EU, renewable alternatives must be found quickly. Until now, heating has been largely neglected in EU renewable energy legislation because coal, oil and gas were cheaper in most cases. This is over now. With its EUR 300 billion „REPowerEU“ plan, the European Commission wants to promote the use of renewable energies for heating and cooling and plans to accelerate the use of heat pumps, geothermal and solar thermal energy on a large scale.
In the future, municipal heating networks will have to play an even greater role in the supply of heat from renewable energies, because they can be used to tap heat sources such as deep geothermal energy, industrial waste heat or open-space solar thermal energy. Municipal heat planning serves to develop existing local potential and coordinates its use with the aim of accelerating the climate-neutral heat transition in existing buildings.
Green electricity must make a growing contribution to the supply of heating and cooling. Large-scale heat pumps for feeding heat into heating grids but also as decentralized supply technologies play an important role. In general, there is also a need to speed up the approval procedure and to make it compulsory to use waste heat oneself or to make it available to external parties.
There is more potential than one might think. Drinking water would also be an option. The water supply company in Milan is leading the way. At the Famagosta site, a large heat pump extracts thermal energy from the pumped water and supplies district heating for the municipal district heating system.
- Euractiv, 01.06.2022
- Umweltbundesamt 25.03.2022