A review of heat decarbonisation policies in Europe

European countries vary greatly in terms of how residential buildings are heated. These differences, built up over decades, reflect national resource endowments, economic resources and technical infrastructures. They also reflect different governance approaches and policy choices. 

In this report, we review the heating technologies and heat policies of nine European countries: the UK (with a focus on Scotland), the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Germany and Ireland). We assess how government policy has been used to change the way heat has been delivered, and current approaches to policy-driven heat decarbonisation. We set out in detail the policy instruments – financial incentives, regulations and tax structures – that are used to drive countries toward zero-carbon heating. Where available, we also present information on how each country is developing policies and targets for the decarbonisation of heating.