How to increase market uptake of innovative renewable heating and cooling systems ?

The results of two years of EU-funded research highlight several recommended incentives to motivate the uptake of innovative renewable heating and cooling systems.

During the past two years, partners of the TRI-HP EU funded project have investigated challenges related to the social acceptance of innovative renewable heating and cooling systems. Through desk research and stakeholders’ workshops in four focus countries (Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and Spain), a list of recommended drivers and incentives has been compiled.

Economic and financial aspects
Barriers and hindrances
  • high investment and upfront costs
  • additional costs, e.g. for drilling or refurbishment measures
  • uneven distribution of costs and gains between investor and buyers/tenants (landlord–tenant dilemma)
  • high operating costs due to high electricity prices
Drivers and incentives
  • low operating costs due to high self-consumption of electricity generated on site
  • higher taxation of fossil fuels
  • public funding and subsidies
  • new business models, such as energy contracting or housing cooperatives
  • flexible electricity tariffs for heat pumps
  • promoting an assessment of total costs and revenues over the lifetime of a system


Practical implementation and feasibility


Barriers and hindrances
  • high heating demand in existing buildings
  • additional effort for refurbishment measures in existing buildings
  • challenging on-site configuration of various technological components
  • high space requirements inside and outside the building (especially in densely populated areas)
  • lack of understanding of complex renewable heating and cooling systems
  • complicated approval procedures and funding applications
Drivers and incentives
  • new generation of high-temperature heat pumps
  • low-temperature radiators instead of underfloor heating in refurbished buildings
  • standardised, simple solutions (off-the-shelf modules, plug’n’play sub-systems)
  • ensuring compatibility of components from different manufacturers through standardisation
  • offer compact heat pump systems to avoid work on the refrigeration circuit for installers
  • certification schemes for installers or tradesmen
  • closer and trusted cooperation between planners, tradesmen and manufacturers
  • easy-to-use manuals for installation and operation
  • cooperation with local planning authorities
  • making funding applications simple, low-threshold (digital) but also accessible for all ages