By Isabella Kaminski
According to the Smart Cities initiative, which is part of the European Union’s Strategic Energy Plan (SET-Plan), 50% of current final energy demand in Europe is used for heating and cooling purposes.
A board of 70 experts representing European cities and the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC-Platform) has asked the European Commission to include renewable heating and cooling technologies in all Smart Cities projects.
Attendees at the workshop discussed best practice examples of renewable heating and cooling integration in ‘smart cities’, particularly ways of integrating renewable heating and cooling in large as well as in small and medium cities.
A resolution was passed to only support cities within the Smart Cities initiative which have a master plan that includes the development of the heating and cooling sector, specific RHC targets, solutions requiring a mix of different RHC technologies and energy efficiency, and which also take full advantage of local resources.
Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, President of the RHC-Platform, told the group that the European energy system requires more research and development as well as further innovation. “The SET-Plan is the most powerful instrument in the development of energy technologies by the European Union in the coming decade but beside the great importance of the heating and cooling sector by transforming our energy system to a sustainable one, only the Smart Cities initiative includes heating and cooling technologies within the SET-Plan.”