Following months of negotiation, an agreement was reached in December 2020, signalling the last step in the adoption of the EU Recovery Plan. The EU’s long-term budget, coupled with Next Generation EU – the temporary instrument designed to boost the recovery – will be the largest stimulus package ever financed through EU funds. A total of €1.8 trillion will help rebuild a greener, more digital, and more resilient Europe, with about a quarter attributed to fighting climate change, one of the areas of focus in the post Covid-19 era in Europe.
Several EU Member States have started discussing their transition towards a more sustainable energy mix; France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Slovakia, and Slovenia have already decided on the phase-out of coal by 2030.
2021 will also mark a new milestone in the move away from fossil fuels in the building industry. Initiated in Denmark in 2013, the installation of oil boilers has been banned since 2020 – in Ireland in new buildings and in Norway in both new and existing buildings. Austria and the Flemish part of Belgium are applying the same rule in new build this year, while the Netherlands are taking an even more drastic step: the ban of gas in new dwellings since January of this year.
The coming years will also see a major shift in two of the major heating markets in Europe: the tightening of the New Building Regulation in France, which will make it virtually impossible to install oil and gas heating in new homes. On the other side of the Rhine river, the German government announced recently that the installation of oil boilers will be restricted from 2026.
Nevertheless, today, most of the heating in Europe continues to be supplied by oil and gas boilers. The chart below highlights the current penetration of oil and gas boilers across European countries