Climate Neutral Heating and Cooling: RD&D needs and perspectives for international collaboration
Many governments worldwide have committed themselves to achieve net greenhouse gas neutrality in the next decades in order to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degree Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. In order to reach these goals fossil fuels, which as of today still account for more than 80 percent of the global total energy consumption will largely have to be replaced by renewable sources. Whereas the decarbonisation of the electricity sector is on a successful path in many countries reaching greenhouse gas neutrality in the heating and cooling sector is much harder. In Germany for example, more than half of final energy consumption is accounted for by heating and cooling, of which so far only a small part has been produced in a climate-neutral way. To decarbonize the heating and cooling sector ambitious initiatives have been launched in many countries in recent years. The recent geopolitical developments, with Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the consequent disruptive developments on the gas market, have furthermore shown the vulnerability of an energy system based on fossil fuels further strengthening governmental efforts to shift towards renewable energy sources in all sectors.
The transformation of the heating sector includes all relevant areas of use and infrastructures. Fossil energy sources must be replaced by renewable energies and the use of waste heat, heating and cooling requirements must be reduced through efficiency measures, and electricity and heating infrastructures must be coupled and used optimally. The heat supply must be converted to a new basis of renewable energy sources, electrification and alternative fuels.
Applied energy research contributes to achieving climate neutrality in the heating sector. Many technical solutions are already available today. However, these are not yet sufficient to reach the target. Research and innovation are necessary to develop further urgently needed technologies and to prepare novel technologies that are not yet established on the market for widespread use. In addition, the systemic integration of new technologies as well as their dissemination and standardisation are still pending. Socio-economic interactions and regional peculiarities must be taken into account.
This webinar will discuss RD&D needs in the area of climate neutral heating and cooling in order to serve as an input to governmental research policies and strategies.
Key questions to be answered at the webinar are:
- What RD&D is crucial to decarbonize the heating and cooling sector?
- Which obstacles hinder the large scale deployment and roll out of climate neutral heating and cooling technologies in various end-use sectors?
- Which problems arise on a system-level?
- How can acceptance problems of climate neutral heating and cooling technologies be overcome?
- Is it possible to shortcut the knowledge creation from basic science to application by means of new methods, technologies and mechanisms?
- How can governments support and accelerate RD&D in climate neutral heating and cooling?
- What are the best opportunities for the IEA TCPs to take forward these research questions?
The webinar will result in a summary report with the main discussion points and recommendations for further RD&D in climate neutral heating and cooling.
Experts' Group on R&D Priority-Setting and Evaluation (EGRD)
The EGRD examines analytical approaches to energy technologies, policies, and RD&D on targeted, timely topics. The results and recommendations support the CERT, feed into IEA analysis, and enable a broad perspective of energy technology issues. Recent topics analysed include "International Collaboration for ensuring Secure and Sustainable Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Technologies" (May 2022), "Hydrogen in the Energy System Decarbonization" (Nov 2021) and "Evaluating the impacts of energy innovation policies" (Oct 2021). Workshop summaries are available here: https://userstcp.org/iea-egrd.