Policy - 04/March/2019

Europe turns up the heat on old boilers

In an interview with FORESIGHT, Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy in the European Commission, explains why Europe’s heating system is too old and dirty

Heating and cooling represent over half of EU energy consumption, more than 500 million tonnes of oil equivalent each year. Two-thirds is supplied by fossil fuels. The sector also accounts for 68% of gas imports. Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy in the European Commission, the EU executive body, explains how Europe is working to decarbonise


Q: What is the problem?

A: Heating systems in homes and industries are frequently too old and beyond their technical lifetime. Almost half of buildings in the EU have individual boilers installed before 1992, with efficiency of 60% or less. Today efficiency rates are over 90%. These boilers need to be changed or modernised.


Q: How will the Commission change this?

A: In 2016, we adopted the first EU heating and cooling strategy for buildings and industry. The residential sector represents 45% of heating and cooling use, and industry 37%. This strategy was followed by the recently adopted Clean Energy for All Europeans package, establishing the most advanced regulatory framework in the world to accelerate the clean energy transition. ...

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