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Renawable Energy Sources in District Heating and Cooling - Baseline survey on EU level elaborated – RES-DHC

The elaborated survey addresses relevant aspects impacting renewable energy sources in district heating and cooling systems (RES DHC) at EU level. Seven additional countries, outside of the project consortium, are identified as having high potential for RES DHC. District heating currently supplies heat to 60 million European citizens, covering around 11 % of the final energy for heating and cooling of buildings.

The heating and cooling sector represents half of the energy consumption of the EU, 75 % of which is supplied by fossil fuels. Buildings make up the largest share of total final energy consumption – accounting for 40 %. Renewable shares in the heating sector vary between countries from around 6 % (Ireland and Netherlands) to 65 % in Sweden. On average, renewable energy accounts for 21 % of the total energy used for heating and cooling in the EU.

DHC fueled by solar thermal, geothermal, bioenergy, and ambient and waste heat recovery can be the backbone of the future decentralized energy system, and represents the most effective and economically viable option to reduce the heating and cooling sector’s dependence on fossil fuels and cut down CO2 emissions. Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have the highest market shares of district heating. While this heating solution is most prevalent in cold winter countries, it can be deployed across the Europe [...]

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