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Transitioning to carbon neutral heating and cooling in Estonia by 2050

  • Published on February 18, 2022

The objective of this study is to identify possible scenarios that can help achieve a carbon neutral heating and cooling sector in Estonia by 2050.

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases (GHG). Every day, Greenhouse gases emissions are present and remain in the atmosphere for different amounts of time, ranging from a few years to thousands of years. In response, average temperatures at the Earth's surface are increasing and are expected to continue rising.

Decarbonization is the term used for the removal or reduction of Greenhouse Gases emissions (GHG) output into the atmosphere. The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation, although certain industrial processes and land-use changes also emit CO2. Decarbonization is achieved by switching to the usage of low-carbon energy sources.

To make actions for decarbonization we need to set scenarios. It helps to seek to depict different ways that future emissions of greenhouse gases might evolve over the next century and it serves to illustrate the types of changes that would be needed to stabilize emissions while continuing to allow growth and improvement in the standard of living.

The project aims to consider at least three different scenarios compared with the BAU scenario towards the carbon-neutral heating and cooling sector. This work will be accompanied by socio-economic impact assessments and action plans for each scenario to support in making decisions to select the best pathway.

The solutions and technologies considered in the scenarios will be adapted to Estonian climate conditions. This information and results will be synthesized in the final report with a clear understanding of some pathways and policies recommendation to heating and cooling decarbonization to Estonia's low carbon transition.

The project was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

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