Renewable heating is… renewable heating!

Joint industry call

Renewable Energy Directive recast – article 23


More energy efficiency and more renewable heating are key to ensure that Europe achieves its climate and energy goals in 2030 and 2050.

This is why the European Commission proposed in the recast Renewable Energy Directive a yearly indicative target for Member States to increase their share of renewable energy in heating and cooling (art. 23). This was a good first step to bring the EU energy legislation in line with the Heating and Cooling Strategy (2016). The potential of the heating and cooling sector is enormous: recital (56) of the proposal rightly states: ‘Representing around half of the final energy consumption of the Union, heating and cooling is considered to be a key sector in accelerating the decarbonisation of the energy system.’

We support the European Commission proposal, but some caveats are now putting it at risk.

In particular, it is worrying that waste heat and cold from district heating might be counted towards the yearly increase in the share of renewables.

What does this mean? In practice, this clause would allow non-renewable heating to be accounted for as renewable. For example, residual heat from an old, polluting power plant could be considered as renewable. While using waste heat and cold in a district heating system is a great way to achieve higher energy efficiency levels, this is not renewable heating, unless the heating source is renewable.

Therefore, we demand that only renewable heating and cooling can be counted for the renewable heating and cooling yearly increase. Waste heat and cold used in district heating should be counted as renewable, only to the extent that their energy source is renewable.

For more information, please read the full letter: Joint_industry_call_-_art_23_clauses_-_REDII

Contact details

Paolo Basso

Regulatory Affairs Manager

EHI – European Heating Industry

+32 2 880 30 73

About the signatories:


The European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) is the common voice of the bioenergy sector with the aim to develop a sustainable bioenergy market based on fair business conditions. AEBIOM is a non profit Brussels based international organisation founded in 1990 that brings together around 40 associations and 90 companies, academics and other associations from across Europe.

About EGEC:

EGEC, the European Geothermal Energy Council, is a non-profit international organisation founded in 1998 to promote the European geothermal industry and enable its development both in Europe and worldwide, by shaping policy, improving business condition, and driving more research and development.

Based in Brussels, we work with our members on policy, market intelligence, and communication, providing a link between the industry and European institutions. More than 120 members from 28 countries, including developers, equipment manufacturers, electricity providers, national associations, consultants, research centres, geological surveys, and public authorities, make EGEC a unique network, uniting and representing the entire geothermal sector.

About EHI:

EHI, the association of the European Heating Industry, represents 90% of the European market for heat and hot water generation, heating controls and heat emitters, 80% of biomass central heating, as well as more than 70% of the hydronic heat pump and solar thermal markets. Our Members are the market leaders in the production of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies to affordably heat buildings. In doing so, they employ directly more than 120.000 people in Europe and invest more than 700 million euros a year in research and innovation.

About EHPA:

The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) represents the majority of the European heat pump industry. Its members comprise of heat pump and component manufacturers, research institutes, universities, testing labs and energy agencies. Its key goal is to promote awareness and proper deployment of heat pump technology in the European market for residential, commercial and industrial applications. EHPA aims to provide technical and economic input to European, national and local authorities in legislative, regulatory and energy efficiency matters. All activities are aimed at overcoming market barriers and dissemination of information in order to speed up market development of heat pumps for heating, cooling and hot water production.

About EPEE:

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) represents the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe. Founded in the year 2000, EPEE’s membership is composed of 40 member companies, national and international associations.

EPEE member companies realize a turnover of over 30 billion Euros, employ more than 200,000 people in Europe and also create indirect employment through a vast network of small and medium-sized enterprises such as contractors who install, service and maintain equipment.

EPEE member companies have manufacturing sites and research and development facilities across the EU, which innovate for the global market. As an expert association, EPEE is supporting safe, environmentally and economically viable technologies with the objective of promoting a better understanding of the sector in the EU and contributing to the development of effective European policies.

About Solar Heat Europe:

Solar Heat Europe is the voice of the solar heat industry, actively promoting the use of solar thermal technology for renewable heating and cooling in Europe. With around 50 members in Europe, the organisation represents directly or indirectly over 90% of the industry across the value chain.

Solar Heat Europe ensures that solar heat technology develop and grow in Europe through different actions such as advocating for better regulation or encouraging the EU policy makers to shape a favourable environment for heating and cooling technology.