To analyse and present to the other institutions/ levels of governance local and regional needs for making heating and cooling more sustainable, thus tapping the potential of the sector for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
The CoR's position has been conveyed to the EC and EP representatives during the CoR meeting of 30 June (adoption of draft opinion and thematic strategic debate on the EU Energy Union.) Particularly most recent example was the constructive participation of Mr Claude Turmes, MEP (ITRE) in this work.
The EP ITRE Secretariat and relevant (shadow) rapporteurs have received two CoR studies in the area of energy policy (heating and cooling; energy market), which has greatly faciltated the uptake of the Cor message by the EP.
Thanks to the thourough preparations mentioned above and thanks to numerous bilateral contacts ENVE/ITRE incl. exchange between the two rapporteurs and secretariats, there are numerous references to local and regional authority in the EP report on an EU strategy for Heating and Cooling (cons. F, I, L, R, AF; points 19-23, 29, 36-37, 45, 48, 62, 79, 83, 93, 100) which by and large take on board the key concerns voiced by the CoR rapporteur.
This continues our productive exchanges which have taken place on previous dossiers, notably the Energy Union package of 2015. The EP rapporteurs Mr Marek Grobarczyk, Mr Evzen Toszeenovsky and Mr Adam Gierek have greatly appreciated the targeted/ focussed contribution of their CoR counterparts Mr Pascal Mangin and Mrs Daiva Matoniene, respectively.
A range of stakeholders incl. specialised professional associations Euroheat and Power and Cogen Europetook on board the rapporteur's recommendations and in turn, help to underpin the CoR's position with additional useful evidence on best practice.
Further to the adoption of the CoR opinion, the rapporteur has been sollicited to attend a series of events in Brussels and in Member States to present the CoR's position, notably on such occasions as the Energy and SF Management Authorities' Network meeting (organised by the EC DG ENER) on 21 November and the external ENVE conference on the Energy Union in Sweden on 18 October.
Moreover, numerous issues for local and regional authorities across the EU have been identified by the rapporteur, arising from experiences in the heating and cooling sector, which pointed beyond this sector and contained suggestions to the EC for better policy in the area of electricity market, renewable energy and energy efficiency. These have been reflected in the EC preparatory work for the 30 November 2016 Winter package on the Energy Union.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- Suggests promoting the use of innovative financial instruments to finance the development of the heating and cooling sectors, encouraging investment in clean technologies and facilitating the involvement of the private sector.
- Stresses the importance of the cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the need for local and regional authorities to be supported in finding additional funding sources and in implementing bigger energy efficiency projects.
- Considers district heating and cooling systems an excellent way of connecting the various sources of energy with energy producers (industry) and consumers. District heating can be one of the cleanest ways of supplying thermal energy, and may play a key role in reducing CO2 emissions – as well as helping to ensure energy independence and energy security.
- Urges a) the Commission to develop a concrete action plan detailing recommended measures to promote cogeneration and b) national authorities to consult the local and regional level on decisions concerning the development of cogeneration.
- Believes that the use of renewables in the heating and cooling sector could be one of the ways to ensure efficient development of heating and cooling sectors. Stresses that more attention should be paid to encouraging the supply of buildings with heat and electricity produced from renewable energy sources.