Renewable sources can play an important role not only for generating electricity, but also for heating and cooling buildings and industrial applications. Two activities that presently account for about 50% of total energy use.
The result would be a significant energy cut and an increase in final efficiency, with major benefits not only for CO2 emissions reduction, but also for the environment in urban areas, where about 70% of primary energy use is concentrated. This way urban areas would play a key role in the commitment to energy sustainability.
This claim was put forward by the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC-Platform), which urges the European Commission to include the use of renewables for heating and cooling systems in all European projects for the development of smart cities (Smart Cities Initiative).
RHC Platform emphasize that the renewable energy market has a huge potential in this sector. However, there is a lack of appropriate policies that support them. Therefore the EU should include these targets at least in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), in the meantime also setting specific goals and drawing up appropriate measures to stimulate investment in this sector, from public bodies and single consumers.