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CT2 - 7th Plenary Meeting

|   5. Highlights

Highlights Core Theme 2: RES Heat

Session 1: Renewable Energy Communities – Article 22 – District Approach

This session summarized and built-on the outcomes of the past two CT2 sessions on renewable energy communities from the RES PM in Brussels and the Joint CA Workshop in Barcelona. This session focused on the district approach to implementing policies to support the uptake of Renewable Energy Communities. A district scale RES approach allows for the optimisation of a wider area than an individual building approach. Therefore, members of the CA EPBD Core Themes on Zero Energy Buildings, Building Codes and Renovation Strategies of the CA EPBD also participated in the session in order to provide a holistic zero energy buildings / district viewpoint into the renewables session.

During the Session in Barcelona, DG ENER highlighted the importance of Art. 22 being used as a tool within the EU Green Deal’s ‘renovation wave’ initiative to support the shift to renewable heating and cooling systems in buildings. This tool holds an important potential to help develop and upscale renovation programmes, by e.g. by aggregating building renovation projects within communities MS can unlock investment potentials and facilitate financing initiatives, this also allows for a more integrated approach in line with the EU recent energy system integration strategy (COM(2020) 299, 8.7.2020).

DG ENER presented the overview of the key principles of the Renovation Wave and the EU funding instruments allocated for the new strategy. It aims to double the annual energy renovation rate by 2030 and increase renovation depth, while creating 160,000 green jobs in construction and renovating 35 million building units. During the presentation, the importance of the lifecycle aspect of buildings and their interconnectedness were emphasized. To achieve its objectives, the strategy has to lead interventions in seven key areas and remove barriers from the market.

DG ENER also gave a presentation on renewable energy communities regulated by Article 22 of the RED Directive, which gives consumers a greater role in the energy transition. During the presentation it was highlighted that this article is a social concept rather than a technical one. The difference between the concept of citizen energy communities and renewable energy communities and the ways this concept aims to create an enabling framework and remove unjustified barriers was also emphasized.

The Öko-Institut provided participants with an overview of factors driving the deployment of renewable energy communities for the heating sector. Case studies from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Scotland were presented. The presentation concluded with findings on the key enabling factors for renewable energy communities for heat: dedicated policy targets, financial support for investments, support schemes for feasibility studies, technical support and guidance, municipal planning, regulatory framework for district heating, pricing structure of fossil fuels and renewable alternatives and monitoring of progress and lessons learned.

RE + District Heating – Upcoming Comprehensive Assessments

The upcoming Comprehensive Assessments in the EED and RES are linked and are to be delivered in one assessment, by the 31st of December 2020. The aim of this session was to look at existing policies, explore options for implementing different types of policy to support the scale up of RE DH and to share and clarify any doubts regarding the requirements of the Comprehensive Assessments under Article 15(7) of REDII, Article 14 of EED and the revised EED Annex.

Under the EED, MS must assess the potentials for efficient district heating and cooling (including small-scale household projects), high-efficiency cogeneration and efficient individual heating technologies focusing on energy efficiency rather than the fuel mix. Under the RED II, MS must assess the potential of renewable and waste heat/cold sources for heating and cooling. Through the presentations by representatives from the European Commission as well as the Joint Research Centre (JRC), participants gained a better understanding of the main differences with the assessments undertaken in 2015 as well as the potential challenges associated with the different definitions in EED and RED II.

The session was conducted as a mapping exercise of the current DH policies and the work already undertaken by MS. Participants discussed potential policies and tools for implementing DH and how the Comprehensive Assessments can be used as a tool in the implementation process. During the discussions, participants stressed the importance of working together to come up with integrated solutions that maximize the cross benefits of interlinked issues.

Session 3: Renewable Cooling - Preparation of Delegated Act

Under Article 7(3) of RED II, paragraph five the Commission “shall adopt delegated acts to establish a methodology for calculating the quantity of renewable energy used for cooling and district cooling and amend Annex VII of RED II by 31 December 2021”. This session continued and built on the discussions held in May on the possible definition and calculation methodology for renewable cooling under Article 7(3) of RED II.

DG ENER presented the legislative basis for the technical study (ENER/C1/2018-493) and the preparation of the renewable cooling calculation methodology. The accounting methodology is needed to calculate the overall RES share under Article 7 (1) (b) and contribute to the calculation of indicative targets under Article 23 (1) and Article 24 (4) (a). Based on the methodology, cooling from individual cooling and district cooling will be calculated. A questionnaire was published on the current findings of the technical study. DG ENER emphasized the importance of the survey, which was circulated to CT2 participants and energy attachés, and urged CT2 participants to assist in ensuring a high response rate from MS. The results of the survey will clarify the remaining work on the suggested calculation methodology. The wider stakeholder consultation on the study is scheduled for 26 November 2020. The preliminary draft of the methodology is foreseen by the end of 2020 and Member State consultation will take place in early 2021. Participating Member States had the opportunity to provide direct feedback on the proposed calculation options and also present their national methodology if such is available or being prepared.

The latest results of the technical background analysis (by the external consultant in the framework of Commission study ENER/C1/2018-493) and the results of the survey on the statistical reporting possibilities for implementing the possible calculation options (conducted in June 2020 with the EUROSTAT Energy Statistics Working Group) were presented to participants . The system boundaries and definitions used in the study were presented and clarified. In addition, the presentation provided an overview of existing cooling technologies on the market. The impacts, as well as benefits and costs of proposed definitions, were also introduced.