Ursula von der Leyen, the new European Commission (EC) President, launched her term with the publication of the European Green Deal communication. With this initiative, the new EC has set out an ambitious roadmap for the European Union (EU) to become the first carbon-neutral continent. It aims to show strong leadership on tackling climate and environment related challenges.

“Building and renovating in an energy and resource efficient way” is a key pillar of the Green Deal. To address the twin challenge of efficient and affordable energy for buildings, the European Commission is calling for a “renovation wave” of private and public buildings and climate-proofing the building stock. This could be addressed through clearer carbon price signals for the sector, possibly including emissions from buildings in the EU ETS. Moreover, the EC plans to mobilise innovative financing schemes, removing barriers to building renovations for multi-ownership buildings, as well as prioritising the renovation of schools and hospitals.

In addition to a stronger push for more efficient buildings, the EC will publish a strategy on smart sector integration. The strategy will explore how renewables and energy efficiency can be integrated across sectors for the lowest cost decarbonisation. Promoting clean energy and fuel cells is also on the EC’s agenda for the coming years, with a view to foster European industrial leadership.

These key elements outlined in the Green Deal promise important opportunities for Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration. With the right policy framework in place, the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in buildings can significantly support the deep decarbonisation of buildings.