27 November, Brussels – Minimum renewable energy obligations could be applied to heating and cooling in existing buildings, the European Commission has suggested, during the launch of a consultation into the new Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).
All replacement heating systems, including in residential buildings, may be required to utilise energy from renewable sources, and building renovation works could be obliged to incorporate renewables when upgrading heating and cooling facilities.
The Commission will also consider ways to decarbonise district heating and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Additionally, energy suppliers could be required to progressively increase the share of renewables in the energy sold for heating and cooling.
With more than 80% of the EU’s heat and hot water production still reliant on oil and gas, heating and cooling has been identified as a priority policy area. Under current legislation all new buildings must integrate energy supply from renewable sources as of 2021, but REDII could increase ambition levels further.
The consultation will also examine ways to empower consumers to generate and store their own renewable electricity, increase the share of renewables in the transport sector, and harmonise permitting procedures in the EU.
REDII will steer the EU’s renewables policy for the period 2020-2030, focusing on how to ensure a timely and cost-efficient achievement of the 2030 renewable energy target of 27%. The consultation closes on 10 February 2016, and the Commission plans to table a proposal for the new directive next year.