MAKE HEATING AND COOLING CLEAN
A decarbonised heating and cooling system is vital for the energy transition, but fossil fuels remain the sector’s dominant energy source globally. The technologies exist to switch heating and cooling to clean sources of energy, and work by Heat Roadmap Europe and others shows the way forward. Progress in that transition is slow, however, with poor policy to blame. It is high time lawmakers stepped up to the plate. They must enforce existing laws, create new rules to fill regulatory gaps and introduce investment mechanisms for a timely and cost-effective turnaround in the heating and cooling sector.
Change means phasing out oil and replacing coal generation in district energy systems with solar thermal energy, wind energy, direct geothermal heat, waste heat and large heat pumps. It also means extending and building new district heat networks, and massively increasing the use of heat pumps in buildings, especially outside dense urban areas. Data and planning at a local, regional and national level are key to finding the best solutions for different geographies, as is the spreading of best practice to avoid time wasting.
Modern life is dependent on ambient indoor temperatures that are neither too hot nor too cold. But achieving the right temperature should not be at the expense of the climate.
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