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Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE): Building the knowledge, skills, and capacity required to enable new policies and encourage new investments in the heating and cooling sector

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HRE (Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE): Building the knowledge, skills, and capacity required to enable new policies and encourage new investments in the heating and cooling sector)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-02-28

In Europe, there is more heat wasted during electricity production, than required to heat all buildings. This huge potential for improvements in the heating sector means that by collecting the vast quantities of waste heat from industries and electricity production, and distributing it with smart district heating grids, it would result not only in monetary savings, but also in considerable CO2 emissions reductions.
The overall objective in the HRE project is to provide new capacity and skills for lead users in the heating and cooling sector, including policymakers, investors, industry, and researchers at local, national, and EU level. This is achieved by developing the data, tools, methodologies, and results necessary to quantify the impact of implementing more energy efficiency measures on both the demand and supply side of the sector.
The project built capacity through dialogues, workshops, strategic outreach and most of all scientific evidence, which help to prepare the ground for major investments required in the heating and cooling sector with commonly very long lifetimes (>30 years).
The final outcome is the decarbonisation strategies for the 14 EU countries, which along with the business cases and guidelines for lead-users, they provide a concrete plan to ensure a decarbonised, cost-efficient and secure energy system for the future.
HRE has refined methodologies for mapping heating and cooling demand and resources in the EU at a level higher than any current projects. Peta 4.3 shows the 2015 energy demand per hectare and the explicit spatial potential for renewable resources and identifies excess heat potentials in Europe for 11 different industry sectors, while it allows for the calculation of the potential cost of heating and cooling infrastructures. Peta4.3‘s online interface has allowed people to interact with their local heat demands, and has been visited over 14.000 times since it was launched.
The profiling of the heating and cooling demand has given the most detailed overview available to date, in terms of fuels, conversion technology and building type, of the energy being used in 2015 in the heating and cooling sector, and forecasts these trends for 2030 and 2050. The outputs provide a detailed overview of how heating and cooling is being done in the residential sector, 8 service subsectors, and 8 industry subsectors. The inclusion of cooling demand and energy carriers, using a methodology developed in HRE, allows for a more detailed, quantified analysis of the role of cooling in the future EU energy system than previously possible. The inclusion of detailed industry sectors for the first time, of which almost half is process heat over 200 °C allows for a genuinely comprehensive analysis of the entire heating and cooling sector in Europe.
The energy modelling work conducted in the HRE has combined the JRC-EU-TIMES and EnergyPLAN modelling tools, allowing for a key integration of their strengths and a comprehensive overview of the energy system performance. For the Baseline projection, the JRC-EU-TIMES has allowed for an optimized energy system development, assuming the implementation of current policy, but no new developments.
For the scenario development, the energy system analyses tools were combined with cost and potential curves for energy savings in the (sub-) sectors profiled. For each of the 14 HRE countries four different scenarios (BL 2015, BL 2050, CD 2050, HRE 2050) were made, all technically functional in order to represent possible alternatives. By comparing and analysing the outcome of the future scenarios, it was shown that the strategy behind the HRE 2050 scenarios is the one with the greatest potential for reduction of CO2 emissions in the heating and cooling sector as well as the most cost-effective. The work culminated in 14 country-specific reports “Heat Roadmaps” plus one for the overall area, where the recommended strategies for decarbonising the heating and cooling sector were described. Additionally, 3 accompanying reports were created with guidelines and key messages intended for the lead-users at the three levels of policy-making (European, National and Regional-local level).
In terms of results exploitation HRE performed exceptionally: More than 300 lead-users from policymaking authorities were reached through workshops, 1-on-1 meetings and other events, while the digital and social media dissemination scored high (30.000 website visits, 2000 Twitter followers, 5000 downloads of project material). Peta 4.3 and the energy demand profiles have been already in use, most notably by staff of DG ENERGY, to present the magnitude of the heating and cooling sector in Europe.
HRE has been an important contributor to the construction of knowledge in the heat and cooling sector. The novel knowledge introduced by HRE4 is identified by key achievements that go beyond the state of the art. HRE builds on results from previous projects and is innovative and pioneering in regards to the level of detail and comprehensiveness in the results on data, mapping and energy system analyses. In particular the most advanced results of the project so far are:
-Improvements to the first ever pan-European thermal atlas (Peta) of the heating and cooling demand in Europe at 100m x 100m: more countries at hectare level (1st time), cooling, resources (1st ever quantification of renewable resources available for district heating networks in Europe, including large-scale solar thermal, direct geothermal, and heat pumps), most complete ever database of excess heat volumes available from power plants, waste incineration, and industry in Europe.
-Profiling of the countries’ heat demands based on delivered energy and energy carriers (1st ever quantification of the heating and cooling demand in Europe) – clarity in a sector that is normally very hard to get out of standardized Eurostat data. For 2015 and in a baseline from 2015 towards 2050.
-JRC-linking of innovative energy models (EnergyPLAN - hourly system model with multi-annual evolution of energy system). The tool uses advantages of both and combines to form a better degree of understanding of the two.
-HRE has successfully informed local, regional, national, and EU policymakers and stakeholders about the key energy efficiency and energy production measures required to decarbonise the heating sector. The outputs of this work could prepare the ground for potential annual investments of apprx. €300 billion for energy efficiency measures in built environment, smart electricity, thermal and gas networks, and the building of efficient infrastructure and energy generation capacity that can integrate a high level of renewable energy (e.g. excess heat, large and individual heat pumps).
Through these investments, there is an expectation of achieving annual primary energy savings in the heating and cooling sector of over 1733 TWh. It is also estimated that the use of renewables in individual and district heating will reach 1230TWh/year, while the potential to utilise excess heat is 1096TWh/year, which includes industry and fuel production processes, as well as waste incinerations and CHP.