Eleven EU energy organisations have met with Commissioner Kadri Simson to present a successful action plan for heating and cooling decarbonisation in Europe.

To achieve our climate and energy targets, a huge amount of investment will be needed to modernise and decarbonise Europe’s heating and cooling sectors.

Heating and cooling accounts for half of Europe's energy demand, with more than 60% coming from fossil fuels. Most of it is used in buildings (space and water heating) and industry (process heat). About 75% of CO2 emissions from buildings can be reduced by replacing fossil-based heating and cooling solutions with efficient renewable and clean heat technologies. At the same time, 20% of industrial process heat concern temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius and about 50% concern the production of steam at mid-range temperatures (100–500 degrees Celsius). It can be effectively decarbonised through available heating technologies and resources.

Since the war in Ukraine broke out, the demand for local and clean heating solutions in Europe has grown exponentially. At the same time, Europe's cooling demand increases year-on-year, driven by global warming and the increasing occurrence of heat waves, even in northern regions.

It is urgent to spark an ambitious EU heating & cooling transition. Locally available clean heat sources such as renewable heat (geothermal, solar thermal, sustainable bioenergy and gaseous biomass fuels), sustainable waste heat, renewable electricity and highly efficient heating technologies are all available, cost-efficient and ready to be deployed.

The Fit-for-55 establishes a binding renewable target for heating and cooling, and dedicated sub-targets for renewable and waste heat recovery in district heating and cooling. It introduces local heating and cooling plans, and national heating and cooling assessments, to identify local, clean and renewable heat sources. Finally, the Fit-for-55 recognises the important potential of waste heat and thermal storage.

It is a first stepping stone to accelerating the heat decarbonisation in buildings and industries. Nevertheless, additional measures are required to accelerate investment through clear signals and instruments, such as: 


1) Phasing out inefficient fossil-based heating solutions 

2) Using untapped local, clean and renewable heat sources

3) Streamlining funding for renewable and clean heat projects

4) Empowering local authorities and consumers

5) Creating a level playing field for clean heating and cooling solutions

6) Preserving European leadership in clean heat technologies and value chains


  • A European Action Plan for Heating and Cooling Decarbonisation
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