Guidelines on Community Heating and Cooling
During the recent energy crisis, the wholesale price of gas in Europe increased by a factor of ten in two years. This sharp increase demonstrates the policy failure of relying on fossil fuel heating supplies owned by a handful of market actors. Moreover, continuing dependence on the gas grid places households at risk of bearing the expenses associated with hydrogen blending, or the use of costly hydrogen as a heating fuel. To pave the way for a fair and sustainable future, it is imperative that we break the detrimental connection between public funding, fossil fuels, and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a select few. Energy communities have the capacity to shift this narrative.
Wind cooperatives have proven their ability to expedite the implementation of renewable energy projects, compared to traditional commercial developers. Consequently, it is now crucial for H&C cooperative and citizen-led projects to showcase their potential in helping us achieve our climate targets in time. Energy communities are the only organisational concept that truly puts citizens at the very centre of the transition.
Heating represents around half of the final energy consumption in Europe. However, the majority of the EU’s Green Deal policies have focused on decarbonising our electricity supply. To effectively achieve our Paris Agreement targets, it is imperative to adopt a dual approach that addresses both heating and electricity decarbonisation.
Read these guidelines to get a non-exhaustive introduction into the world of renewable citizen-led heating and cooling, including explanations of what they are, how they function, and giving advice on how to replicate successful examples.