Renewables currently provide 14% of OECD Europe’s energy demand for heat supply, the main contribution coming from the use of biomass. The lack of district heating networks is a severe structural barrier to the large scale utilisation of geothermal and solar thermal energy. In the Energy [R]evolution scenario, renewables provide 48% of OECD Europe’s total heat demand in 2030 and 92% in 2050.
- Energy efficiency measures can decrease the current total demand for heat supply by at least 10%, in spite of growing population and economic activities and improving living standards.
- For direct heating, solar collectors, biomass/biogas as well as geothermal energy are increasingly substituting for fossil fuel-fired systems.
- The introduction of strict efficiency measures e.g. via strict building standards and ambitious support programs for renewable heating systems are needed to achieve economies of scale within the next 5 to 10 years.
Table 5.20 shows the development of the different renewable technologies for heating in OECD Europe over time. Up to 2020 biomass will remain the main contributors of the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of solar collectors and a growing share of geothermal heat pumps will reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.