Earlier this year, in its Heating and Cooling Strategy, the European Commission addressed thermal energy for the first time in a consistent manner. This was timely, as decarbonising Europe’s energy system is impossible without decarbonising the heating and cooling sector. The ‘Clean Energy Package’ that was published yesterday is a step in the right direction to enshrine the objectives of the Strategy in EU law. A first review shows positive, yet often indirect benefits for the deployment of heat pumps, as ‘best available technology’.
However, despite Commissioner’s Cañete statement that the Commission ‘will not support fossil fuels neither directly nor indirectly’, the suggested policy framework is still too technology neutral without being “low carb energy source specific”. Consequently, it will neither prevent Member States from favouring fossil energy over renewables, nor will it stop fossil subsidies.
The co-legislators will therefore have to push this ‘package’ to the next level of ambition.