The climate neutrality ambition established in the European Green Deal requires efficient solutions for sustainable energy generation. In this session, the European Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, COGEN Europe and CEDEC are joining forces to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on district heating as a sustainable energy solution on the local level, to advise policy makers and local practitioners, while sharing experiences from the ground.
Local and efficient energy generation will be key for delivering on all dimensions of the new Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – decarbonisation, just transition, competitiveness, resource efficiency and local and regional action and consumer empowerment.
District heating is a key solution to provide clean, sustainable and affordable energy. It also enables tapping local resources, leading to local job creation and a greener economy. By enabling the use of geothermal, solar, various bioenergy sources and residual heat, district heating can effectively contribute to the EU goal of an annual increase of the share of renewable and residual heat and cold in the heating and cooling consumption by 1.3 percentage points.
Complementing district heating, cogeneration can supply efficient heat to DHC, while supporting grids with flexible electricity at times of peak power demand.
However, developing city-wide infrastructures such as district heating face challenges of integrated planning, stakeholder engagement, high up-front investments and long-term return on investment. Moreover, the significant contribution of these solutions is yet to be fully considered in the context of EU and national long-term strategies.
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