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Policy reinforcement concerning heat storage technologies (PREHEAT)

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Without heat storage, renewable heating would not be possible. Although heat storage itself is rather invisible, its impact on the amount of renewable energy generated in your house, city, and country is huge. By improving the effectiveness of heat storage, we can improve the effectiveness of all renewable energy technologies that use heat storage. Because of the large diversity in heat storage technologies and systems, development is fragmented and there are no possibilities for long-term investments. And because it is difficult to express heat storage in terms of policy goals, there is currently no long-term European strategy. To effectively develop and improve heat storage technologies, a coordinated and programmed international approach is required. By analysing the decision making process and describing the technology, markets and potential of heat storage, PREHEAT will help European industry and decision makers to maximise the environmental, commercial and economic benefits of heat storage.


  • Policy reinforcement - An overview of existing support programmes, policies, and regulations relevant for thermal storage for the EU, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom was made. Based on this overview, it was investigated how EU policies, regulations and programmes could be influenced and amended to fully recognise the considerable benefits of thermal storage within the European Union.
  • Technological potential - For industry and policy makers, a technological and non-technological overview of thermal storage was made. This was achieved by compiling the present and future thermal storage technologies, an indication of the potential impact of thermal storage, the existing market actors, as well as a synopsis of the present and future market situation. The advantages of an advanced thermal storage system were shown for various applications
  • Communication - During the two-and-a-half years of PREHEAT’s operation, the attention for thermal energy storage with industry and policy makers has strongly increased. To achieve this, a series of seven national workshops was organised, attended by more than 580 representatives of industry and policy makers.
  • In addition, two high-quality international events were organised. A two-day international symposium with highprofile speakers from both research and industry was organised in Freiburg in June 2007, in parallel with Intersolar 2007, Europe's largest solar energy fair. Each day of the symposium was attended by approximately 60 representatives from industry, research, and government.
  • The main conclusions of PREHEAT were summarised in a series six informational leaflets and on a web information centre at as well as These describe the added value of thermal storage for the most relevant renewable heating and cooling technologies, and show how the benefits of thermal storage could be maximised at a policy level.

Lessons learned

  • Thermal energy storage is important for the future energy system in Europe. Although this was one of the starting points of this project, it was confirmed many times and in many ways during the project, e.g. through our contacts with conference and workshop participants, as well as through our study of the benefits of thermal storage for various applications.
  • Because thermal storage is part of many different (renewable and non-renewable) energy technologies, work on storage is very fragmented. Creating a strong network of thermal storage research and industry, that crosses the boundaries between the various energy technologies, would strongly increase the effectiveness of the development of improved thermal storage
  • There is a strong need for more information on heat storage technologies, including market potential and best practices. Last updated: 24.06.2010

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Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands
Contact point: 
Marco Bakker
0031 224 56 8079


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In brief

01/01/2006 to 30/06/2008
Contract number: 

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