EU urges for accelerated adoption of heat pumps for clean heating

European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson delivered a compelling message at the Heat Pump Forum 2023, emphasizing the urgency of transitioning to sustainable heating solutions, reports.

Commissioner Simson highlighted the critical role heating plays in the European Union's energy consumption landscape, noting that it currently accounts for approximately 50 percent of all energy consumed.

Commissioner Simson's address drew attention to the stark reality that over 70 percent of heating in the EU still relies on fossil fuels, primarily natural gas. She firmly asserted, "This has to change."

Simson stressed that the future of household heating cannot hinge on fossil fuel combustion but must pivot toward technologies rooted in renewable energy sources, coupled with efficient district heating and cooling systems.

Highlighting heat pumps as a pivotal technology, she declared, "Heat pumps, in particular, are ready to become mainstream heating technology." Simson called for their integration into local, regional, and national heating and cooling plans, underscored by the need for flexibility to adapt to the unique requirements and constraints of buildings, industries, and networks.

While acknowledging the changing landscape of the heating sector, with nearly three million new heat pump units installed in 2022, Commissioner Simson insisted, "This is not enough." She underscored the necessity of a clear, long-term vision to engage consumers effectively and called for accelerated deployment of heat pumps, whether as standalone systems or as part of efficient district heating and cooling infrastructure.

Commissioner Simson also pointed to ongoing initiatives that pave the way for cleaner heating solutions like heat pumps and the review of ecodesign implementing regulations for space heaters. Notably, one consideration in the review process is establishing an end date for 'stand-alone' fossil boilers.

In her closing remarks, Commissioner Simson highlighted the European Union's commitment to fostering clean heating solutions, underlining the imperative to address the pressing challenges of climate change and transition to sustainable energy sources.

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