Last week we attended the meeting of the Environment, Climate Change and Energy Commission of the Committee of the Regions.
On the meeting’s agenda was the analysis of the European Commission’s strategy for heating and cooling devices and infrastructures bearing in mind that the former make up for 50% of energy consumption in the EU.
Mrs Daiva Matoniene, rapporteure for the Committee of the Regions for the opinion paper on the issue has underlined that “although the Commission’s strategy is a significant step forward in terms of heating and coolong, it nonetheless lacks clarity”. She then stressed the leading role that local public entities must take on in elaborating strategies and implementing sustainable heating and cooling systems. Thus, although the Commission is here to provide financial and technical assistance, it is local entities that ought to be at the center of the transition to more sustainable systems.
Mrs. Matoniene has further explained that “EU financial assistance must take into consideration the diversity of the conditions found in the various Member States in terms of cooling and heating, none being identical. They are facing different geographical and demographical situations. Those differences make it so that there is no one universal approach to the issue.” Mrs Matoniene has called for administrative and juridical hurdles which slow the development of networks and centrals combining the production of heat and electricity down to be lifted.
Impact studies regarding the directive on the energy efficiency of building and the one on energy efficiency are expected to be published by the end of April and the Commission should present legislative proposals with regards to these issues during the fall of 2016.