Residential heating is a massive consumer of energy worldwide. The technology exists to alter this, but policy makers need to give the sector much more attention to ensure real change, says Florian Knobloch from Radboud University Nijmegen
We face a fundamental change of the cost structure on the supply side and a need for a fundamental change.
They [the European Commission] are looking at this stuff backwards. I still think they are convinced the short-term market model could work even though they are also starting to realise that you need something parallel, with long term price signals that give investors confidence to invest in infrastructure and allow them to see a decent market return.
Despite tremendous cost decline of wind and solar technologies, electricity prices will probably remain too low to attract the level of investment needed.
The greatest barrier to overcome is the integration of variable renewables into electricity systems. This will require developing power system flexibility and also a friendly deployment of variable renewables.
Placing wind and solar photovoltaic facilities on the same site may sound attractive in theory, but the reality is more complicated and many experts suggest this will only make sense in a limited number of cases
Biomethane is gaining in profile as a clean solution to powering fleets of cars at a local level as well as a practical response to the need to better manage organic waste from food and farm production and to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles
Smart meters are seen as central to managing more flexible power systems, but more cooperation between Transmission System Operators and local Distribution System Operators are needed if this technology is to really help move forward the energy transformation
While EU energy experts unsurprisingly agreed the leading role renewables and energy efficiency will play in the move to a clean energy economy, speakers at a European Commission conference had widely differing views on what else should be prioritised.
Coal-reliant regions around the world have been generally resistant to the energy transition and regulators have tended to defend the status quo. But they are slowly starting to realise that clear plans and financial support for disrupted societies are more important
Welcoming the recently agreed EU 2030 climate and energy targets, Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric argues for a regulatory framework able to smoothly integrate greater amounts of renewables and electrification