How to Become Number 1 in Renewables A contribution from the biomass, geothermal, and solar thermal sectors

The EU aims to become number one in renewables, according to European Commission’s President Juncker. Already a leader in both renewable electricity and heating and cooling, Europe now faces fierce global competition.

The only way to reach this goal for both renewable electricity and heating and cooling is with structural reforms to move away from fossil fuels and further develop a wide variety of renewable energy technologies.

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Key messages:
For the heating and cooling sector:

• More attention should be paid to the energy system as a whole. Renewables for heating and cooling are available and are ready to deliver. Their potential needs to be fully reached.
• A level playing field is not yet in place. Urgently, fossil fuels subsidies must be phased-out and their externalities priced.
• Renewable energy and energy efficiency go hand in hand. They must be addressed at the same time as they face similar barriers and can generate synergies.
• Special attention should be paid to the correct implementation of existing legislation, which should be strengthened beyond 2020.
• Policy makers should also promote awareness by informing consumers as well as local public authorities and installers about all available options.
• RD&I in renewable heat technologies is needed to reduce costs, enhance system performance, and facilitate their integration.

For the electricity sector:

• Geothermal, hydropower, solar thermal electricity, biomass and biogas are desirable flexibility options addressing increasing concerns over grid management and the stability of the power sector.
• It is vital to create a European domestic market which is supported with long-term financing and other incentives in order to bring innovative projects to the commercial stage.
• New market designs that reward the flexibility from renewable power generation should be developed;
• RD&I is crucial to improve flexibility of production from RES flexible technologies and develop the new generation of geothermal, biomass and STE technologies.

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