The 2024 Act!onHeat Training Programme draws to a close

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The 2024 season of the Act!onHeat Training Programme draws to a close with a session on “A Look at the Future of Heating & Cooling in Europe.” In order to achieve climate neutrality, the transition to a greener heating and cooling system is key, as it accounts for half of the energy demand in Europe. Cities are developing ambitious plans, creating more efficient district heating systems and partnering with organisations that bring innovative technologies and opportunities. During this session, we heard about the Act!onHeat project experience, and learned about best practice heating and cooling in the cities of Mannheim, Germany and Islington, UK.

Martin Fritz, Researcher at the Fraunhofer ISI, gave a global picture of where heating and cooling is going in the European context. He discussed three new European Directives aimed at achieving an energy reduction, paying particular attention to the Energy Efficiency Directive. He took participants through the impact of heating and cooling, as well as a series of measures currently being implemented in municipalities across the EU. See his presentation here.

Following this, Maria Riffat, a Manager for Energy-efficient Refurbishment of Districts at the City of Mannheim, discussed what is currently being actioned in the city of Mannheim in Germany, as well as the city’s ambitions. She gave a background on the city, and shared its ambitious targets to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. Maria mapped out the city’s current heating and cooling landscape through a traffic light system of all neighbourhoods, as well as sharing a future mapping concept that has been developed for 2040 and beyond. Maria also laid out a list of 19 measures organised across 6 different topics, highlighting those already underway, and those that will be a priority for certain neighbourhoods across the city in the coming years. See her presentation here.

Participants then heard from Richard Martin, a Senior Strategic Lead at Climate Action, who discussed the London district of Islington and its heat network ambitions. Richard gave a snapshot of the context of the area, as well as of the political and financial characteristics of the UK, which make Islington particularly interesting ground for heating and cooling futures. Richard explained what makes Islington a pioneer in the UK; it has its own district heating network, it started extracting and repurposing waste heat from the London underground from 2016, amongst other things. He then went on to discuss the district’s future plans, which centre around 13 development clusters.

Keen to dive deeper into these topics? Check out the session recording and full presentations here.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101033706. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the Act!onHeat project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.