Communication from the European Commission on financing low carbon technologies (SET-Plan): The Solar Thermal Industry demands full recognition of the heating and cooling sector's contribution

Brussels, (PresseBox) - At its General Assembly, held earlier this month in Brussels, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) urged the European Commission to include the renewable heating and cooling sector in the SET-Plan. As heat accounts for nearly half of Europe's overall energy demand, major investments are needed in renewable heating and cooling technologies to meet the 20/20/20 targets, to secure energy supply in Europe and to significantly reduce CO2 emissions over the next decades. Today, Europe is at a critical juncture in defining its strategic energy mix to meet these huge challenges.

On 7 October, the European Commission (EC) published a communication on financing low carbon technologies. It estimates that an additional investment of €50 billion will be needed over the next 10 years for energy technology research. This communication represents an important step towards the implementation of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), which is the mainstay of the EU's energy and climate policy.

ESTIF deplores the fact that the current proposal does not so far include renewable heating and cooling. According to Olivier Drücke, President of ESTIF: "Leaving technologies like solar thermal, biomass and geothermal out of the current portfolio is a missed opportunity. In fact, the present version of the SET-Plan leaves out 50% of the energy demand and therefore does not pave the way for a successful EU Climate Policy for 2020 and beyond. The SET-Plan should give clear incentives for investors to support R&D development in the European renewable heating and cooling sector."

In this connection, experts from the Renewable Heating and Cooling Platform (RHC-ETP) are currently working with the European Commission to determine the solar thermal sector's financial requirements for research and Development and Demonstration (R&D&D). The goal is to implement an EU Industrial Initiative (EII) for the renewable heating and cooling sector that would, within the SET Plan, enhance the scope of technologies avoiding CO2 emissions.

Read the Communication of the European Commission "Investing in the Development of Low Carbon Technologies (SET-Plan)

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