The recent Heating and Cooling Strategy from Commission indicated that emissions related to energy used for heating and cooling of buildings could be significantly reduced with technologies that use renewable energy sources and have high efficiency. On 28 November 2018, the Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive, and climate-neutral economy by 2050 - A Clean Planet for All. The Commission's vision for a climate-neutral future covers nearly all EU policies and is in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C. The long-term Strategy also seeks to ensure that this transition is socially fair and enhances the competitiveness of the EU economy and industry on global markets, securing high-quality jobs and sustainable growth in Europe, while also helping address other environmental challenges, such as air quality or biodiversity loss.

The European heat pump industry welcomes the EU 2050 Strategy, pointing that its successful realisation presupposes the full decarbonisation of heating and cooling by 2050. Standing out as the smartest, most sustainable, and efficient solutions for heating and cooling, heat pumps should become the new role model for decarbonisation.

In the SEADRION partner countries, the heat pump technology is still not sufficiently known, and a very small number of users decide to implement such systems, especially when it comes to large scale applications. Air-to-air and air-to-water heat pump systems are most commonly used in both residential and non-residential buildings, while water-to-water heat pump systems, including seawater heat pumps, are used at higher building loads but not to the same extent as systems with air as a heat source. The reason for this is the more demanding design of the system (drilling of pumping and sinking wells), which entails a larger required investment. Also, seawater heat pump systems, as all heat pump systems, require knowledge and experience in designing, installing and running the application to work properly and successfully.

Because there are some administrative barriers to applying this technology, people often opt for other types of technologies that are more suitable for installation (plug and play).

Taking this into consideration, the SEADRION project aims to support the development of a regional innovation system for the Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION) region with the installation of 3 seawater heat pump pilot plants in public buildings located in Greece (Alexandroupolis) and the western and southern part of the Adriatic Croatia (Crikvenica and Dubrovnik). Installation of a measuring system in pilot plants will allow data collection and comparison with operating conditions from these pilot plants, which will be shared with members of the SEADRION Network.

Members of SEADRION network aims at:

parties hereby undertake to support and promote initiatives aimed at fostering cooperation between signing parties, dissemination of results from the SEADRION pilot plants, tracking implementation of goals from SEADRION strategy with particular reference to the following areas:

  1. The development of a permanent seawater heat pump transnational network composed of regions, enterprises and academia aimed at developing collaborative research, best practices exchange, industrial innovation, and skill development in the field of heat pump development and application, shared productive and commercial industrial Strategy, common policy action for favouring heat pump products market uptake;
  2. Designing and putting in place international collaboration agreements and partnership also through the application of projects in the frame of the EU and national calls for proposals (LIFE, Horizon Europe, European Territorial Cooperation – Interreg) in the seawater heat pump related matters;
  3. The transfer of good practice on seawater heat pump installation, operation, tendering and national legislation, and other experience from operation and installation of SEADRION pilot plants in Greece and Croatia.
  4. The exchange of knowledge on existing heat pump policies in the region, incentive schemes and public assistance to industry,
  5. Sharing experiences and practices on how countries with a more developed heat pump economy are dealing with this area
  6. Exchange of information and/or ideas on:
    • support SMEs through knowledge transfer in heat pump utilisation;
    • establish links between stakeholders that are involved in the utilisation of heat pumps;
    • how to create contacts on proposals and concrete needs for industrial and commercial cooperation;
    • business cooperation and research opportunities for businesses, business associations, research and development institutions;
    • market trends, legislation, relief bureaucratic obligations, etc.;
    • how to connect research institutes and industry through existing clusters or associations;
    • how the existence of a heat pump could contribute to higher integration of renewable energy sources or what opportunities heat pumps offer for the region.
  7. Cooperation between research and industry on:
    • analyses the potential of seawater heat pump systems for utilisation and integration of solar and wind generation systems, individually and in combination;
    • development of specific projects of applied research on heat exchangers, pipes and heat pump materials,
    • Research in the field of biological film, algae, slime, molluscs and influence on local temperatures and sealife.
This platform and its contents have been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The content of the platform is the sole responsibility of the SEADRION Consortium, and it can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union and/or ADRION Programme authorities.