Heating and cooling

Energy 26-04-2021

Sweetening the deal for heat decarbonisation

How can we expect people to invest in heat pumps if we deliberately make electricity more expensive than fossil gas, oil and coal? That’s like taxing water and subsidising sugary drinks, argues Samuel Thomas.
Energy 23-04-2021

EU carbon market will be extended to buildings and transport, von der Leyen confirms

Europe will apply its emissions trading scheme to buildings and transport, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a summit of world leaders on Thursday (22 April), setting the stage for the EU’s planned overhaul of its carbon market.

A way forward to bring transport and buildings in the ETS

Rapid emission cuts need one carbon price for all sectors, including transport and buildings. But to move quickly enough, we should allow some differentiation for a limited time, writes Georg Zachmann. 
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy poverty ‘likely to increase’ once bank moratoriums are lifted

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Tuesday (20 April) called for "coordinated action" across the European Union to tackle energy poverty, warning that poverty is "likely" to increase once bank moratoriums are lifted.
Energy 05-04-2021

What now? Policymakers mull options for greater energy system integration

Consumers will be at the centre of EU efforts to create a more integrated energy system, with local authorities playing an essential role to bring energy users closer to suppliers in a bid to maximise efficiency and cut greenhouse gas...
Energy 23-02-2021

Leapfrogging gas: how geothermal could help eastern EU countries ditch fossil fuels

Geothermal energy could help central and eastern Europe break away from coal and gas, but it needs a quicker uptake and government backing to help meet renewable energy targets, advocates say.
Energy 09-02-2021

Hiding fossil fuel subsidies under clean energy targets?

To safeguard climate targets’ integrity against greenwashing measures, transparent rules should be in place, write Vlasios Oikonomou and Haris Doukas.
Energy 03-02-2021

30 million Europeans were in energy poverty in 2019

Thirty million Europeans – the equivalent of Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic's populations combined – were unable to adequately heat their homes in 2019, according to a new report from the Jacques Delors Institute.
Energy 21-01-2021

Avoid hydrogen for heating homes, urges energy efficiency coalition

A coalition of 33 business and civil society groups have urged the European Commission to prioritise renewables and energy efficiency over hydrogen as part of Europe’s efforts to decarbonise buildings.
Climate change 11-11-2020

F-gas manufacturers brace for tougher EU climate goals

The fluorinated gases industry is gearing up for a transformation as tighter supply restrictions are due to be implemented in the coming months and an upcoming EU legislative review next year is expected to push the EU market even further towards greener alternatives.
Energy 06-11-2020

Energy-efficient building renovation: a Franco-German challenge

To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the question of renovating buildings to be more energy-efficient is of crucial importance. More than ever before, it is the subject of debate on both sides of the Rhine. EURACTIV France and Germany report.
Energy 05-10-2020

Energy performance in buildings is key to meeting 2030 emissions target

Ursula von der Leyen and Frans Timmermans have pledged to kick-start a Renovation Wave across Europe. This is a management challenge with three aspects that have to be met, write building industry CEOs.
Energy 26-06-2020

COVID-19 means tackling energy poverty is more urgent than ever

The COVID-19 crisis is hitting European consumers in the pocket, causing rising unemployment and falling income for those who have kept their jobs. Spending more time at home as a result of lockdown measures could make matters worse for energy...
Energy 05-06-2020

Policy brief: Energy system integration

“Sector coupling” is the new energy buzzword in town. In essence, it means bringing different energy carriers, infrastructure and consumption sectors closer together in search of more renewables, greater efficiency, and lower carbon emissions. With its European Green Deal, tabled...
Energy 26-05-2020

The case for green buildings in the COVID-19 recovery

By supporting green buildings, the European Commission can simultaneously cut down energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions while improving comfort and health, and supporting Europe’s 18 million construction workers, writes Peter Sweatman.
Energy 21-05-2020

Heating electrification amplifies need for efficient buildings, experts say

Electrification is key to decarbonising the residential heating sector, but it needs to be done smartly, by using heat pumps flexibly in houses that are efficient enough to act as “thermal batteries,” experts argue.
Electricity 20-04-2020

Austria becomes second EU country to exit coal

Austria officially closed its last coal-fired power plant on Friday (17 April), becoming the second EU country to exit coal after Belgium in 2016.
Energy 14-04-2020

Dublin MEP pushes ‘neighbourhood’ approach to building renovation

Ciarán Cuffe, a former Irish minister now turned MEP, has urged the European Commission to take a locally integrated approach to building efficiency, saying it will be “critical” to the success of the upcoming renovation wave announced as part of the European Green Deal.
Energy 09-04-2020

EU countries dragging their feet on building renovation plans

Only five EU member states have submitted long-term renovation strategies that were due last month under the revised energy performance of buildings directive: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and Sweden.
Energy 16-03-2020

Energy ‘sector coupling’ requires 75% more electricity, study says

Direct and indirect electrification of transport, buildings and industry could deliver a 60% reduction in carbon emissions across Europe by 2050 – but that will require a massive upsurge in clean power output, according to BloombergNEF, a research company.
Energy 27-02-2020

Cooling down Europe’s heating system

If we want Europe to go carbon neutral, we must stop manufacturing and selling technologies based on oil and gas – starting with heating systems, write Davide Sabbadin and Melissa Zill.
Air Quality 02-12-2019

Cash for clean air: Between unbankable projects and unpopular measures

EU cohesion funding for environmental measures has not been spent as planned and EU member states are reluctant to apply the “no environmental harm” principle. EURACTIV Slovakia reports. “If you think the economy is more important than environment, try holding...
Air Quality 29-11-2019

‘Heat our homes, not the planet’: EU clean air forum takes heating to task

Heating’s huge impact on the EU’s air quality and greenhouse gas emissions needs new focus and attention, according to policymakers and activists gathered in Bratislava on Thursday (28 November).
Air Quality 28-11-2019

Implementing clean air rules the eternal problem, as EU countries told to raise game

Industry, agriculture and transport were asked to decrease air pollution at a high-level EU forum in Slovakia on clean air but the responsible ministers and new Commissioners were absent from the Bratislava event.