EU Policy framework

Article 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) calls on Member States to carry out a comprehensive assessment of their potential for efficiency in heating and cooling. In addition, art. 22 (3) of the EU Directive on Energy from Renewable Sources (2009/28/EC) requires the Member States to indicate geographical locations suitable for exploitation of energy from renewable sources in land-use planning and for the establishment of District Heating and Cooling.

Heating and cooling are intrinsically local/regional matters. Thus, there is no heating and/or cooling European market, resulting in a lack of cross-border cooperation despite the fact that easy, transferable solutions exist. As a result, despite the very positive signals for the take-off of renewable heating and cooling provided by both EE and RES directives, three main barriers remain for achieving the goal of high levels of renewable heating and cooling by 2020 aiming towards full decarbonisation by 2050: the lack of a European heating and cooling atlas; the lack of effective transfer of know-how; the fact that most national plans do not take into account local/regional potential and vice-versa, i.e. local plans are usually not linked to the national objectives.

Through its activities, the STRATEGO project aimed to tackle all these barriers by helping national and local/regional authorities map their potential, fostering the exchange of know-how and expertise through a coaching scheme and bridging the gap between EU policy, national objectives and effective decision making at regional and local levels.