The UK District Energy Association (UKDEA) has applauded the focus of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) on district heating.
Amongst the measures included in the EED which were agreed to, district heating is highlighted as an important direction, with all member states being required to carry out detailed scoping studies to assess the potential in their own country.
The requirements of the EED tie in with recent research undertaken by the UKDEA, which highlights the ‘significant potential’ for district energy in the UK.
The directive requires that all EU Member States save energy in specified ways, each of which is detailed in the background note available on the website. These range from renovation of public buildings for energy efficiency, energy audits of homes and businesses, smart metering and better consumer information.
The directive supports the EU target of improving energy efficiency by 20 per cent by the year 2020 (compared to 1990 levels).
Under the district heating guidelines, the directive agrees that: “Member States would need to carry out and notify to the Commission by December 2015 a “comprehensive assessment” of the scope for applying high-efficiency cogeneration and efficient district heating and cooling.”
This is further explained in the directive, where it states that Member States will need to carry out a full cost-benefit analysis based upon climate, economic feasibility and technical suitability. The cost-benefit analysis must facilitate the identification of the most efficient ways to meet heating and cooling requirements in that country.
It goes on to say that where the assessments identify situations where high efficiency district heating or CHP could be installed at a greater benefit than cost, Member States will need to put action plans in place to get those technologies installed.
Simon Woodward, chairman of the UKDEA, commented, “The EED gives further support and impetus for the development of more district heating in the UK.”
“Recent research by the UKDEA demonstrates how extensive the potential for district energy is, and now this directive gives Local Authorities and the UK Government additional encouragement to do something about it.”
The proposed directive would replace two existing pieces of legislation - the Energy Savings Directive (ESD), and the Cogeneration Directive. It aims to fill gaps where measures are lacking, improve the effectiveness of existing ones, and in doing so, to provide a boost to the economy.