Renovation Wave opens the door for more renewable heat, but a heat market is required!


  • PUBLISHED: October 15, 2020

EGEC Geothermal’s reaction to the Renovation Wave & Commission Recommendation on energy poverty.

EGEC Geothermal welcomes the proposal of the European Commission’s Communication Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives. EGEC particularly appreciates the effort to strengthen the existing renewable heating and cooling target (article 23 of the RES Directive) in accordance with the proposed higher climate target for 2030 and to introduce a requirement to use minimum levels of renewables in buildings (article 15 of the RED).

EGEC Geothermal Head of Policy Sanjeev Kumar underlined that “50% of our heating and cooling needs can and must be covered by renewable energy in 2030”.  Given the priority placed on renewable heating in both flagship Renovation Wave as well as energy system integration initiatives, Article 23 must now become a binding EU target to ensure half of the EU’s heating and cooling consumption is derived from renewable sources by 2030. The annual percentage point in the share of renewable must be increased from 1.3 to 3.1. This is the most optimal means of embedding the Renovation Wave into EU legislation and complements the inclusion of buildings in the EU ETS.

Over 75% of the heating demand today is met by fossil fuels. Reducing this burden leads to a direct reduction in methane and CO2 emissions, improves the security of supply situation, and avoids billions in stranded fossil infrastructure investments whilst reducing energy bills and tackling the climate crisis. 

EGEC welcomes the key principles for building renovation towards 2030 and 2050. In particular, we support:

  • Decarbonisation and integration of renewables’: Decarbonisation of heating and cooling with renewables must be central to the Renovation Wave if it is to make a meaningful contribution to the EU’s 2050 climate targets.
  • Energy efficiency first’: around all the value chain, geothermal heat pumps and district heating systems must be recognised as the most efficient systems. Energy demand in the form of heat is best covered with energy production in the form of heat.
  • Affordability’: Renewable heating and cooling technologies are already the cheapest option. Ending fossil fuel subsidies and introducing carbon pricing make them even more competitive.

The Commission Recommendation on energy poverty highlights the need to tackle heat poverty with affordable and clean heating and cooling. Article 1 of the proposal recommends delivering the internal energy market, rather than an internal market for gas.

“The privileged position of conventional fossil gas needs to be replaced with an Internal Market for Heat” commented Philippe Dumas, EGEC secretary general.

EGEC recommends a full review of the impact of the competitive distortion of the Internal Market for Gas legal base as well as its associated direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies on the provision of renewable heating and cooling services, particularly competition from geothermal energy sources. Furthermore, EGEC calls for the establishment of a fully competitive, secure and cost-effective Internal Market for Heat which removes the privileged position of fossil gas.


Sanjeev Kumar / Head of Policy /  

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