Newsletter 11.2016

EDITORIAL

Photo: Eurofuel 

(Photo: Eurofuel)

Dear readers,

A milestone in this early autumn was certainly the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. This formal step paves the way to the entry into force of an international commitment to contain global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius – and to seek to limit temperature increases even below 1.5 degrees Celsius – this century compared to pre-industrial levels. A reminder, if needed, of the important challenges ahead for Europe’s energy transition.

No wonder in this context that the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on the EU strategy for heating and cooling included many ambitious objectives. Sometimes too ambitious or even contradictory. Instead of imposing too radical and unrealistic decisions such as the phase-out of certain energy sources, for which the price impact on consumers and societies is not properly considered, Eurofuel has argued for maintaining a technology neutral approach to regulations. It would in our view be wiser to focus on general policy objectives and leave the market find new solutions – or adjust existing ones. Which was by the way a point MEPs made in the resolution.

Energy efficiency and the progressive integration of renewables in heating will for sure play a key part in addressing the policy challenges. Eurofuel will be carefully looking at the expected energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation review planned for later this year, the much-expected “winter package”. These pieces of legislation should be proper enablers of the transition and not pre-empt any technological or source-specific solutions for the challenges ahead. Innovation is key, as energy stakeholders heard in a symposium organised by our Austrian member IWO-Austria.

With affordable, high-efficiency and low-emission boilers, the modernisation of existing oil heating systems can to a large extent contribute to Europe’s climate objectives. Our British member OFTEC reports on state-of-the-art solutions which already anticipate low-emission targets. Furthermore, unlike what is sometimes portrayed in media and political statements, district heating is not always the best solution for efficiency increases. In fact, a study presented by our German member IWO has demonstrated that the renovation of individual heating systems is generally more cost-effective than the choice of district energy. This should be taken into account in view of public spending and fuel poverty considerations.

As shown by the example of the fourth energy efficiency agreement in Finland, the integration of renewable energy with oil-powered heating in the form of bio components or hybrid systems is also part of the solution and will be progressing over the years to come.

Through efficiency increases, integration of renewables and the development of innovative solutions, we are convinced that liquid fuels will continue to play a major role in providing consumers with safe and reliable heat supply. This was a key message Eurofuel and its Belgian member Informazout presented in an interview with a Belgian specialised TV programme.  

I wish you a good reading! 

Tristan Suffys
Secretary General