European Solar Thermal Industry Federation

Research and Innovation Roadmap points the way for Renewable Heating and Cooling

Date: 14 Jul 2014

Research and innovation is vital for the development of Renewable Heating and Cooling technologies and their urgently needed market deployment. This is a key message of the recently published Common Implementation Roadmap of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-Platform). This Roadmap describes the top priority research themes and value chains with the highest impact on the societal challenges in Europe up to 2020. It integrates topics from the Solar Thermal, Biomass, Geothermal and Cross Cutting sectors, including district heating, heat pumps and storage technologies.

“With our roadmap, the industry and research sectors, as well as politicians, now have a clear guideline for which research topics should be focused on in the coming years”, says Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, president of the RHC-Platform. “We now expect that the European Commission will put a stronger focus on RHC technologies within the Horizon 2020 program, especially since RHC technologies are necessary to reduce our import dependency on fossil fuels”.

Following the publication of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Renewable Heating and Cooling (SRIA) in 2013, the Implementation Roadmap was developed by the RHC-Platform, based on the more detailed Roadmaps of its Solar Thermal, Biomass, Geothermal, and Cross-Cutting panels. Leading European experts from all sectors were involved in the publication of the document which, for the first time, gives a comprehensive overview of the technological potential of the whole sector.

Founded in 2008 and officially supported by the European Commission, the RHC-Platform today represents 800 RHC sector stakeholders from industry, research and the public sector from all over Europe, covering all renewable energy technologies for Heating and Cooling. The RHC-Platform is a model of multidisciplinarity in which the integration of all RHC sources enables systemic solutions, and synergy effects are achieved with cooperation through cross cutting technologies.

The Roadmap identifies the technologies which ought to be developed as a priority. It explores the relationship between these different Research & Innovation priorities and explains how RHC research addresses the needs of the different users and demand profiles that exist in the EU. The document investigates the RHC contribution to the security of our energy supply, to a more cost competitive and less price-volatile energy market, to job creation, and to the reduction in the emission of pollutants. Finally, it analyses how to increase the involvement of private investors and how to strengthen the market deployment policy for RHC technologies.

The Common Implementation Roadmap is the latest in an influential series of publications produced by the RHC-Platform. Having identified the huge market potential of RHC technologies in the Common Vision document published in 2011, the Strategic Research Priorities were elaborated by each technology in 2012 which led to the publication of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the RHC-Platform in 2013. This work was supported by the European Commission and was coordinated by the RHC-Platform secretariat, which is made up of the associations of the RHC technologies, namely the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC, Coordinator of the Platform), the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), the European Solar Thermal Industry Association (ESTIF), and the European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC).

All documents can be downloaded at


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