The recently revised EU Renewable Energy Directive recognises heating and cooling as a key sector in accelerating the decarbonisation of the energy system. In order to facilitate the penetration of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector, each Member State is required to increase the share of renewable energy supplied for heating and cooling by an indicative 1.3 percentage points as a yearly average for the periods of 2021-2025 and 2026-2030.
In this endeavour, new technologies and innovative concepts are being tested at local level in order to optimise the integration of renewable and waste heat sources into the heating systems in urban environments. The RELaTED H2020 project is exploring an innovative concept of decentralized Ultra-Low Temperature district heating network which allows for the incorporation of low-grade heat sources with minimal constraints, larger shares of renewable energy sources and distributed heat sources.
The first presentation of the webinar was given by Ms. Eva Hoos, a renewable heat expert and policy officer at DG ENER. Ms Hoos presented the current policy framework for heating and cooling and the funding options available for the decarbonisation of the sector. In a second phase, the introduction of the RELaTED ultra-low district heating concept was introduced by Roberto Garay, coordinator of the project. The presentation of the RELaTED project allowed to reflect on how innovative solutions can be developed in order to incorporate renewables and low-carbon energy sources into heating and cooling systems. Finally, the last speaker, Ljubiša Vladić from Beoelektrane in Serbia, presented how the RELaTED concept is currently being tested in the city of Belgrade.