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Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO₂ emissions in the EU. When looking at the age of the heating stock in buildings, one out of every four systems having been installed before 1992. It is vital that we modernise the existing building and heating stock, making it energy efficient and renewable. This is not only important for keeping temperature levels below 1,5°C by 2050, but also for reducing the EU’s energy import bills, reinforcing energy security and cutting energy costs for households and businesses.

Given the higher ambition presented in the Fit For 55 Package, the Energy Performance of Buildings and the Energy Efficiency Directives were both under revision, together with the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). These files are crucial to strengthening the current EU legislative framework for a more efficient and renewable building sector.

The role of bioenergy

Bioenergy is the main source of renewable heating, with 85% of all renewable heat coming from biomass – and heating 66M households. Renewable heating coming from biomass can be produced through: 

  • Individual biomass stoves, used as local space heaters
  • Individual biomass boilers, providing hot water and space heating for an entire house
  • District heating, providing heat or combined heat with power for multiple buildings

All these solutions can include the use of wood pellets. For more information on pellets for residential heating, check our dedicated factsheet.

Our position

The residential sector is still dominated by the consumption of fossil fuels, especially gas. To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, we urgently need to decarbonise the existing heating stock and replace old heating systems with modern and more efficient ones. Both individual biomass heating systems and biomass-based heating districts are an important part of the solution, offering cheap and renewable heating while guaranteeing high efficiency and low emissions. Long-term strategies for decarbonising the building sector are needed, in order to foster a switch from fossil to renewable solutions and make Europe energy independent.

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