Efficiency gains in the heat supply sector are even larger. Under the energy [r]evolution scenario, final demand for heat supply will experience a steep decline (see Figure 17). Compared to the Reference Scenario, consumption equivalent to 87,500 PJ/a is avoided through efficiency gains by 2050. As a result of energy-related renovation of the existing stock of residential buildings, as well as the introduction of low energy standards and ‘passive houses’ for new buildings, enjoyment of the same comfort and energy services will be accompanied by a much lower future energy demand.
In the transport sector, which is not analysed in detail in the present study, it is assumed under the energy [r]evolution scenario that energy demand will decrease by 10% to 27,000 PJ/a by 2050, saving half of the demand expected under the Reference Scenario. This reduction can be achieved by the introduction of highly efficient vehicles, by shifting the transport of goods from road to rail and by changes in mobility-related behaviour patterns.
Development of renewables in the heat supply sector raises different issues. Today, renewables provide 8% of primary 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. Past experience shows that it is easier to implement effective support instruments in the grid-connected electricity sector than in the heat market, with its multitude of different factors. Dedicated support instruments are required to ensure a dynamic development.
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