Newsletter Issue 3
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Ecoheat4cities: a useful tool for meeting our energy targets
In the context of climate change, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction challenges, isn’t it time to talk about green heat? After all, heating is the largest single energy end-use in Europe, comprising almost half of total final energy consumption! According to the International Energy Agency, heat represents 47% of final energy consumption, compared to only 17% for electricity and 27% for transport.
There are several approaches to tackling our energy challenges. While top-down regulations and policies aimed at facilitating changes on the ground may also act as important tools when well formulated and implemented, the Ecoheat4cities label, developed through an IEE co-funded programme, is providing market-oriented tools that proactively facilitate a transparent and sustainable heating and cooling market – one which rewards efficiency, renewability and emissions reductions that can be attained through District Heating and Cooling.
But what is District Heating and Cooling (DHC)? and why would DHC be able to provide such effective change?
Well, not only is heating the key driver of energy use in Europe, but the majority of energy use comes from cities! In the EU, 73% of the population lives in cities (estimated to rise to 80% by 2030)! To improve efficiency of energy use, decrease emissions, and improve integration of renewables on a large scale, it is absolutely vital to support efficient and flexible heating and cooling systems on a local and urban level. This is precisely what modern DHC systems do! And many DHC companies are constantly improving and implementing effective energy solutions through their individual and coordinated research and development efforts.
Through utilizing heat that would otherwise be wasted, including heat from combined heat and power plants as well as excess industrial heat, and by enabling DHC systems to flexibly replace fossil fuels with renewable sources , DHC suppliers and operators can be rewarded by the receiving a high Ecoheat4cities rating. Indeed, the Ecoheat4cities label can be used as an effective tool to facilitate the wider recognition of the individual energy successes of leading cities and companies throughout Europe, and it can also provide the knowledge and incentive to address the shortcomings of other systems and cities, all the while supporting the creation of local and sustainable jobs.
So, how can you get involved and start affecting much needed change?
The Ecoheat4cities project just held its final project meeting in Brussels on 10 October 2012, where stakeholders from all over Europe attended (minutes available on the website). But while the preparatory phase may be coming to an end, the longer term phase of implementation is only just beginning. Now the project partners are reaching out to companies and cities throughout Europe with the full range of tools that have been developed: to calculate energy performance, to compare heating and cooling options, and to effectively implement a new energy transformation that will help Europe to flourish in the years to come. Now is the time for companies, urban planners, citizens and municipalities everywhere to grasp the necessary tools and make it happen!
Now is the time to rise to the energy challenge and express your interest in applying for the Ecoheat4cities label. For more information on the project and to become one of the first labeled systems please contact us for further information