ConnectHeat / Context & Challenges

The ConnectHeat project will develop an enabling policy framework for the development of community energy initiatives, aiming at decarbonising the heating and cooling (H&C) sector in 7 target areas located within a wide geographical spread.

Context & Challenges

Addressing very challenging context

Heating & cooling account for roughly 50% of EU energy consumption from which more than 75% come from fossil fuels.

Renewable and clean heating and cooling is a key enabler for green transition and energy autonomy in the current energy crisis but its decarbonisation is lagging behind.

Heating & cooling provides a broad platform for the integration of various renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures.

Harvesting these sources and using proven solutions to increase energy efficiency and sustainability of this sector is necessary to achieve the ambitious EU targets, the most prominent one being climate neutrality by 2050.

Though Community Energy is a proved and effective approach, its potential remains untapped in the Heating & Cooling sector

Heating & cooling depend on local conditions requiring solutions adapted to very specific local environments.

Decarbonisation strategies must be planned locally as they require an integrated bottom-up approach building synergies between all relevant stakeholders in the energy chains and integrating locally available energy sources.

Local and regional public authorities and governments should thus show leadership to trigger, shape and drive the energy transitions in Europe.

ConnectHeat brings Heating & Cooling Communities – an effective inclusive solution to foster the green transition

ConnectHeat is the first European initiative to develop heating and cooling communities in Europe, putting public authorities and citizens at the heart of energy transitions.

It will create an enabling policy and strategic framework and build the capacities of public authorities to trigger innovative community energy initiatives through local participative and cooperative processes leading to increased share of renewables in and higher energy efficiency of heating and cooling across Europe.

Furthermore, it will develop real pilot cases in seven different European regions addressing different socio-economic, environmental and political contexts.

ConnectHeat will generate sustainable impacts and offer inspiring activities and tools

Empowering cooperation between public authorities, local communities and relevant stakeholders

7 Stakeholder Advisory Groups set up in target areas to support H&C community development
Enhancing knowledge of the local energy systems and of local sector H&C trends

7 surveys to explore local H&C dynamics and define baselines for H&C community development
Increasing expertise and know-how on feasibility and sustainability of community energy initiatives

6 train the trainer sessions building up capacity within the consortium
28 local training sessions for key stakeholders to prepare the ground for H&C communities
Co-creating local strategies for wide-scale H&C community energy concept replication

7 H&C community energy policy roadmaps
A H&C Community Energy Developer’s Blueprint for further replication
A position paper with key recommendations to improve the current policy framework
Concrete implementation of H&C community energy projects in seven EU regions

7 local Community Energy Boards acting as working groups
7 pilot H&C community energy projects with a large coverage of sectors, solutions and renewable sources

Dissemination of key outcomes to foster EU-wide replication

1 International Stakeholder Advisory Group
7 pilot replicators identified and involved
16+ EU-wide workshops and events for all

…connecting key stakeholders and various renewable heat sources and technologies in long-lasting communities to decarbonise European Heating & Cooling

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. Funded under project number 101076258.


In the news

ConnectHeat call for replicators

Join ConnectHeat and receive free support to develop heating & cooling communities. Apply by 15 July!

Insightful discussions in the last LIFE CET energy community projects’ gathering

The LIFE Clean Energy Transition (CET) Programme Contractors’ meeting on Energy Communities was successfully held on 13th and 14the of March 2024 in Brussels.

ConnectHeat: Empowering Communities through Training and Knowledge Sharing

The ConnectHeat project adopts a self-sustaining cascading effect approach in its training program about heating and cooling (H&C) community energies.

Regional bioenergy markets are leading the sustainable transition!

On the European Bioenergy Future conference organised by Bioenergy Europe, the FEDARENE session put energy agencies' major role under the spotlights.

ConnectHeat project launches to unlock the potential of Energy Communities

The ConnectHeat project will build and improve public authorities' capacity to determine and establish local energy communities, with a view towards boosting the energy transition in the heating and cooling sector.