Heating / Cooling

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The European Union aims for 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore, the long-term vision is to become climate-neutral by 2050; this means transforming the current energy system. Compiled from MUSTEC’s research activities, key drivers and policy decisions are identified and explained for effective CSP deployment in Europe in the coming years up to 2050.

The European climate change strategies key element is the transition of the energy system towards a more sustainable energy supply, and the decarbonisation of the electricity sector through the deployment of renewable energy technologies. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), as a dispatchable renewable energy technology combined with thermal energy storage, could contribute to the deep decarbonisation of the European Energy system by providing sustainable electricity and adding to system flexibility.

About 96% of all households in the Netherlands are heated using natural gas and is still the European Union’s largest natural gas producer. The demand for heat will have to be filled in another way than using natural gas and lot of existing buildings will need to be retrofitted. The transition will also have huge social implications, as it will affect the houses of seven million households in the Netherlands.

If the earth’s temperature increase is limited to a maximum of 2°C premature deaths are likely to be reduced globally by 15% in 2050, from 4 million to 2.85 million. If an economic value is assigned to those premature deaths, the health co-benefit ‘savings’ are actually higher than the mitigation policy costs by a proportion ranging from 1.3 to 2, depending on the pathway. This is investigated in the Case of Santiago de Chile.

In this article, heat energy transition pathways in the UK, Germany and Sweden have been compared by evaluating empirical to ideal scenarios. Heat energy transition is the core of the energy transition, as heating is currently the most energy-intensive activity in Europe.