Energy used for heating and air conditioning accounts for almost half of total final energy consumption in the EU. This is a worrying fact, as most of this energy comes from fossil fuels, which contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, in recent years, we have seen a gradual increase in the use of renewable energy for these purposes. This is largely due to the contribution of biomass and heat pumps. Developments in industry, services and households have also contributed to the growth of renewables in heating and air conditioning.
However, the increase in total fuel consumption in 2021 due to economic recovery following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions led to a decrease in the share of renewable energy in gross final consumption for heating and cooling. Despite this, the rate of renewable energy for these purposes has still increased compared to a few years ago, with more than double the rate of 11.7% in 2004.
Among EU countries, Sweden is a leader in the use of renewables for heating and cooling, with more than two-thirds of its energy used in 2021 coming from renewable sources, mainly biomass and heat pumps. Estonia, Latvia and Finland are also among the leaders, with a large share of biomass in their energy mix.
However, there are countries that still have some way to go in adopting renewables for these purposes. Spain, for example, is among the countries with the lowest rate of renewables used for heating and air conditioning.
It is important to continue to promote and support the use of renewables across the EU, not only to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and protect the environment, but also to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come. We must work together to achieve a future in which the energy used for heating and air conditioning is completely renewable and environmentally friendly.