OIES Podcast – Role of policies in the decarbonization of heat in the European buildings sector

In this podcast David Ledesma discusses with Thomas Nowak, Michael Taylor and Katja Kruit the role of policies in the decarbonization of heat in the European buildings sector.

Thomas Nowak argues that while heat pump sales have soared in recent years, we are still way off from where we need to be. Thomas advocates for policymakers to select the most efficient technology and then implement all necessary measures to deploy it at speed. He reckons that in the long term, renewable energy and heat pumps are the best solution not only for the environment but also for the economy and should be made the imperative of the energy transition. Picking up a similar theme, Michael Taylor reviews some data on costs and performance of heat pumps from primary sources. Despite the difficulty of making comparisons between countries due to data boundaries, terminology, and availability by technology and market segment, some common themes can be drawn, including the decline of installed costs per kW thermal over time, the presence of economies of scale, and an apparent increase of system efficiency—measured as the coefficient of performance—through time. Finally, Katja Kruit focuses on the Dutch market, where over 90 per cent of residential and commercial buildings use natural gas for heating and cooking. The author reviewed some of the policy instruments used in the Dutch heat transition and concludes that two areas stand out in which there is obvious room for policy strengthening: performance standards for privately owned homes and the introduction of a carbon cap for heating fuel.

The decarbonization of buildings will need to have a central role in the European transition to a zero-carbon future, but the task is enormous and lacks implementation speed.

Read more in our latest edition of the Oxford Energy Forum: Issue 135 – Decarbonizing heat in the European buildings sector: options, progress and challenges


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