Renewable Heating and Cooling in Germany and the U.S
By Wilson Rickerson
When thinking about ways to reduce CO2 emissions, policy makers around the world mostly talk about the transportation sector or ways to use renewable energies for electricity generation. To date, very little attention has been given to the “Cinderella” sector of heating and cooling, where a great potential for using renewable energies and reducing CO2 emissions lies. Globally, the heating and cooling sector accounts for an estimated 40-50% of final energy demand, and is therefore one of the largest sources for CO2 emissions.
The topic of renewable heating and cooling opens a window of opportunity for both Europe and the U.S. to learn from each other on a transatlantic level, since policy in this area is fairly new. If countries like Germany and the United States were to find effective ways to promote renewable heating and cooling energies, this could be a big step forward towards restructuring the world’s energy system based on renewable energies and energy efficiency. The publication is a combination of two papers: the first written by Wilson Rickerson and others providing an overview of the current US situation on renewable heating and cooling, and the second written by Uwe Leprich and others providing a detailed look at the German support mechanisms for renewable heating and cooling policy in Germany.