Breaking the Ice – Kicking off the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling

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For the first time, on 23 and 24 February 2010, the entire European industry and research communities from the biomass, geothermal and solar thermal sectors will come together in Bilbao on the occasion of the First Annual Conference of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling and focus on a common vision outlining the research needs and the tremendous economic potential of this sector.

It is only with the Renewable Energy Sources directive that heating and cooling has been identified as the third pillar in the energy demand alongside transport and electricity production. This “sleeping giant” accounts for half of the total European final energy demand. The First Annual Conference of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling on 23 and 24 February 2010 in Bilbao will elaborate the common vision of the research need and technological priorities for this industry, hence unleashing its huge potential in terms of economic development and reduction of CO2 emissions.

Building upon the success of the solar thermal Strategic Research Agenda published in December 2008 the European Commission has encouraged the renewable heating and cooling industries to join forces in a common technology platform. The outcome of this common effort is the creation of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-Platform). The RHC-Platform will identify the research and development requirements for the sector and set the priorities in terms of technologies. This vision will constitute a reference document for European and national public authorities when shaping future support policies for these industries.

“Until recently, Renewable Heating and Cooling has received little political attention and in most EU Member States there is not yet a comprehensive approach to support this sector”, says Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, President of the RHC-Platform. “This is particularly striking in view of the fact that heating and cooling accounts for around half of Europe’s final energy consumption.”

By participating in the elaboration of this common vision for renewable heating and cooling, research and industry players will gain valuable insights into leading technologies and have a unique opportunity to influence the evolution of the sector’s R&D.

The event will take place under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency and hence be supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, the Basque Energy Board (EVE) and the Spanish Association of Renewable Energy Producers (APPA).

For more information, please visit: www.rhc-platform.org

A press conference will be held on 23 February 2010 at 09.00 am at the Bilbao Conference Centre. Should you wish to register for this media event or to be kept informed about the Platform activities, please send an email to info(at)rhc-platform.org

About the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling

The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating & Cooling (RHC-Platform) brings together industry, research and policy stakeholders from the biomass, geothermal and solar thermal sectors to determine a common strategy for increasing the use of renewable energy technologies in heating and cooling.

Building on the experience acquired since 2005 within the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform (ESTTP), now incorporated in the RHC-Platform, four major European organisations – EUREC, AEBIOM, EGEC and ESTIF – are spearheading the development of a common Vision and a Strategic Research Agenda for the renewable heating and cooling sector in Europe.

The RHC-Platform, officially endorsed by the European Commission since October 2008, is playing a decisive role in maximising synergies and strengthening efforts towards research, development and technological innovation which will consolidate Europe’s leading position in the sector.

About European Technology Platforms

European Technology Platforms represent a framework for stakeholders, led by industry, to define research and development priorities, timeframes and action plans on a number of strategically important issues. They also play a key role in ensuring an adequate focus of research funding on areas with a high degree of industrial relevance, by covering the whole economic value chain and by mobilising public authorities at national and regional levels.

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