Ways of decarbonizing the heating sector in the Western Balkans Six – Online workshopOn October 21, REKK organised an international online workshop to discuss with invited speakers and the audience the future of the heat sector in the Western Balkans and the challenges of decarbonisation. The workshop attracted 50 participants from CEE and WB6 regions.
Péter Kotek, Senior Research Associate at REKK presented the results of our research commissioned by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) on the competitiveness of natural gas for residential heating. The calculation takes into account the costs of network development and concludes that in countries where new infrastructure is needed to support the growth of natural gas use, there is a high risk of stranded assets and that besides biomass heat pump heating is a competitive alternative to natural gas. During the panel discussion, Richard Lowes (Regulatory Assistance Project – RAP) presented the low carbon technologies available in the heating sector and highlighted the key role that electrification will play in greening the sector. Biljana Grbic (Energy Community Secretariat) mentioned the potential of district heating systems. In the Energy Community contracting parties, there are several investments under development to convert existing district heating systems to biomass, solar, geothermal or waste heat, and several projects to build new green district heating systems. In his presentation, Zoran Kostov (Habitat for Humanity Macedonia) said that energy poverty is a major problem in Macedonia. Habitat has supported the energy renovation of many residential buildings since 2005 through various funding programmes and is also active in the field of awareness raising and training. Zsuzsanna Koritár (MEHI) drew attention to the principle of “energy efficiency first”.