On December 6th, CEOs of the Buildings Rountable of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance -of which EHI is part of- met with Mr Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Director at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission.
Later in the afternoon, EHI CEOs had an exchange of views at the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Carvalho, Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Sustainable, Long Term Investments and Competitive European Industry. Both moments have been a great opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the decarbonisation of the building sector.
Here are 5 key messages that our CEOs delivered during both discussions:
- Key role of buildings and heating in reaching Climate Target Plan and REPower EU goals.
The building sector accounts for 1/3 of energy related emissions in the EU and about 40% of the natural gas in the EU is used in the residential sector. The decarbonisation of heating systems installed in buildings are therefore key to achieve the European climate and the REPowerEU targets.
- Buildings are a hard-to-abate sector, issue for security policy
Buildings are different for size, climate they are located in, for insulation levels, energy infrastructure they lay in, economic background etc. As most of today’s buildings are dependent on fossil fuels for their energy, their decarbonisation has become a security issue, in the current energy crisis. This fragmentation makes them very difficult to decarbonise with a single solution-fits-all. The pathway to decarbonise this hard-to-abate sector must be cost-efficient, socially acceptable and flexible to adapt to geopolitical, security concerns.
- Diversification = reduce costs of the energy system
Maintaining a broader technology and energy-carrier mix guarantees reaching the 2030-2050 climate goals and delivers a more cost-efficient scenario for the decarbonisation of buildings which reduces costs for the energy system, in comparison to a single technology scenario, due to reduced costs of energy infrastructure adaptation (Guidehouse study, 2022 );
- European manufacturers to deliver heat pumps REPower EU targets
The European heating industry is ready to deliver the ambitious European target on the roll-out of 10 million hydronic heat pumps by 2030, which include the most innovative solutions working with natural refrigerants. Moreover, it has already developed the technologies compatible with biomethane and hydrogen, which will complement the increased electrification of heating in the coming years.
- European know-how and skills to deliver local, new green jobs
European know-how and competence along with strengthened skills along the heating value chain can strengthen local economies and increase green jobs around Europe, which is of strategic importance for our economy.
Participants will keep up the discussion going and involve all political groups on the issue, possibly with an Intergroup meeting/event in the upcoming months on the role of heating technologies to deliver the European climate goals for buildings.