Development of policy strategies for achieving rapid, extensive penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency (EE) in heating and cooling production and demand

European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Duration April 2015 – November 2017


The Renewable Energy Directive (RED), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) (recast) require Member States to develop ambitious policies for sustainable heating and cooling strategies. The objective of this project was to assist policy makers at the local, regional, national and EU level to develop and implement integrated, effective, efficient policy strategies to achieve rapid, extensive penetration of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency (EE) in heating and cooling production and demand. This included an analysis of cross-sector effects among RES and EE measures in industry, buildings and district heating and cooling (DHC), as well as the connection to the power grid.

The core aspect of the project was communication and capacity building with policy makers, administrative staff and other stakeholders at the local, regional and national level, including setting up policy group meetings, expert consultations, experience sharing, capacity building workshops and webinars (see right hand).

The project focuses on 6 regions in 6 target countries:

  • Austria (Upper Austria)
  • Czech Republic (Litomerice)
  • Denmark (Helsingor)
  • Germany (Herten)
  • Portugal (Matosinhos) and
  • Romania (Brasov)

Heating and cooling strategies were developed together with the local stakeholders via a detailed analysis of the specific situation, including barriers and incentives, and a model-based assessment of policy intervention with scenarios up to the year 2050. Data, scenarios and recommendations were provided for the target countries. Results were transferred to other countries and convey them at the EU level.

Policy makers and other stakeholders were closely involved in the process. They could learn from the experiences of other regions and gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of policy instruments and their specific design. First steps towards increasing energy efficiency and penetration of renewable heating and cooling have been implemented.

Tasks of IREES

  • Analysis and modelling of cooling technologies for industry and industrial waste heat.
  • Analysis of barriers and incentives at the local level and identification of success factors. IREES conducted expert interviews and surveys of companies and multipliers at the local and regional level, so as to gain a detailed understanding of specific decision processes.

Project partner

  • Energy Economics Group (EEG), Vienna University of Technology (lead), (AT)

  • Fraunhofer Association for the Advancement of Applied Research (Fh ISI), (DE)

  • Technical University of Denmark, (DNK)

  • Energy Cities, (FR)

  • OÖ Energiesparverband, (AT)

  • ee energy engineers GmbH, (DE)

  • Gate 21, (DNK)

  • City of Litoměřice, (CZE)

  • Instituto de Engenharia Mecanica e Gestao Industrial, (PRT)

  • Agentia Pentru Management ul Energiei si Protectia Mediului Brasov, (ROU)


Dr. Jan Steinbach
Dr. Jan Steinbach