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Enhancing stakeholders' acceptance of trigeneration heating and cooling systems: Recommendations from the TRI-HP stakeholder process (D2.3)

Friedrich, Thomas; Stieß, Immanuel

Executive Summary

Deliverable D2.3 presents results on expert knowledge and stakeholder acceptance of trigeneration heating and cooling systems. This task has the overall objective to explore potential social implications of TRI-HP systems and improve stakeholders’ acceptance towards these systems. Particular emphasis is given to market acceptance in order to understand potential barriers and hindrances for the adoption of TRI-HP by market participants.

Stakeholder workshops in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Norway were carried out to understand and determine barriers and drivers that influence the acceptance of renewable heating and cooling systems. The focus of the workshops held in June 2021 was on market participants who can be considered as key stakeholders for the implementation of such innovative systems. The following groups were considered important stakeholders for this purpose, as they have a direct influence on their dissemination, planning, construction or maintenance:

  • decision makers (e.g. investors or building owners who make investment decisions for a building);
  • planners and technical consultants for the design and technical functionality of renewable heating and cooling systems in residential buildings (architects, HVAC consultants, building engineers, etc.);
  • experts for the successful installation of renewable heating and cooling systems (installers, tradesmen, plumbers, etc.);
  • manufacturers and distributors (e.g. of heat pump systems);
  • building or facility managers in charge of operating and maintenance of renewable heating and cooling systems.

Carefully selected representatives of these or similar groups were invited to the stakeholder workshops in order to represent a broad spectrum of different perspectives and interests and to be able to capture and discuss barriers and drivers in a most inclusive way.

It can be concluded from the four stakeholder workshops that the barriers and drivers of stakeholder acceptance, which were already elaborated and described in Deliverable D2.21, could be fundamentally validated and affirmed in the workshops. This refers both to the cross-country results and to the country-specific contexts. Especially in the action steps jointly developed by the stakeholders to overcome key challenges, the different country-specific framework conditions became evident.

Furthermore, it also became clear how interdependent the numerous challenges associated with the introduction of innovative trigeneration heating and cooling systems are. In order to enhance the acceptance of such systems by the relevant stakeholders, it is therefore recommended to develop solutions with a holistic and long-term perspective and consider a wide range of non-technological factors in addition to technological and economic ones. Building on Deliverable D2.2, this Deliverable D2.3 offers numerous ideas, suggestions and proposals on how to better align acceptance of TRI-HP systems with the needs and expectations of key stakeholders and better address primary national challenges. These recommendations for action include, for example, that heat pump manufacturers should align themselves more closely with the needs of heating installers to ensure that heat pumps become more standardised and easier to install, or that the funding of innovative heating and cooling systems that combine several renewable energy sources should be improved. The proposed actions indicate that a systemic view that takes into account the different perspectives of the relevant stakeholders is needed to achieve an improved framework and thus more market acceptance for TRI-HP systems.

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1 Friedrich, T. and Stieß, I. (2021): Social acceptance of innovative RE H/C systems: Barriers, hindrances, drivers and incentives; Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5500469

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