Scaling up the involvement of women in supporting an accelerating market uptake of renewable energy sources for heating and cooling


Women hold great potential as agents of change, driving the clean energy transition and getting us closer to meeting the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030. W4RES taps into this potential to support the uptake of renewable energy in heating and cooling (RHC), a market that urgently needs to shift more to renewable energy systems (RES). W4RES will deep dive into framework conditions and regional specificities of 8 diverse yet representative markets in Europe, assessing enablers and barriers to RHC uptake.

HFT as RES technology and energy services providers in the consortium will employ its already established successful services and well-tested methodologies and tools to improve the value propositions in RHC projects and enhances the market uptake of RHC. HFT highlights meaningful opportunities and challenges for RHC uptake and ensures cost-effective and efficient solutions in RHC, as well as delivering technical support and consultancy to selected women-led RHC projects and supporting them in setting-up and deploy gender-responsive RHC solutions.

Research Question

Despite the commitment, plans and efforts of Member States (MS) to promote RHC, progress has been admittedly slow. W4RES looks for an imperative and an opportunity to support RHC uptake with a view to contributing towards our energy and climate targets.

There is a series of cross-cutting issues that persist across the EU: financial, regulatory and policy framework issues are amongst the most common on the supply side, whereas knowledge and awareness gaps as well as difficulties in accessing finance appear to be amongst the most prevalent ones on the demand side. W4RES aims to tackle these barriers from different perspectives. Moreover, W4RES proves that from a policy perspective, women’s participation in the decision-making process can enhance the effectiveness as well as the efficiency of energy policy interventions.


In order to ensure the production of meaningful outcomes, W4RES employs an integrated methodology that will unfold in 6 interrelated phases over 36 months:

  1. Set up and preparation phase: setting up and running local structures for effective quadruple helix stakeholder engagement, moreover improving consortium knowledge of framework conditions acting as barriers or enablers of RHC market uptake.
  2. Co-creation and development phase: The intelligence gathered throughout the preparation phase will be further consolidated and addressed in the participatory design activities.
  3. Deployment and testing phase: W4RES will be put to the test across 8 European countries aiming to tackle the local challenges.
  4. Co-evaluation and validation phase: capturing and measuring the performance of market uptake support measures and their impact. With a participatory approach and engage with Advisory Board members a suite of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be co-define to measure W4RES performance.
  5. Multi-stakeholder engagement, mutual learning and good practice exchange phase: W4RES employs the results and lessons learnt as a catalyst and takes action at multiple levels, contributing to the co-creation of gender-responsive and supportive regional, national and European frameworks.
  6. Dissemination, communication and sustainability phase: Well-designed blend of properly adjusted online and offline means and activities for dissemination, awareness raising, and communication.

Targeted results

W4RES will contribute to delivering solutions to facilitate the wider uptake of RHC, with a view to significantly increasing the share of renewable energy in the EU’s final energy consumption in a cost-effective and gender-responsive manner.

The solution proposed by W4RES will facilitate the wider uptake of renewable energy generation in the energy and industrial sectors leading to an increase share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption by 2030.

The increased uptake of such solutions is expected to have a positive cascading effect on the RHC industry, through the creation and promotion of new market openings that can incentivize new technology suppliers and professionals (both women and men) to create and capture value from renewable energy for heating and cooling. In turn, consortium expect that the increased competition can help drive consumer prices down, therefore increasing the cost-effectiveness of RES solutions for heating and cooling.

W4RES delivers a suite of solutions for achieving significant and measurable reductions in the time and effort required for the development and deployment of RHC projects, with emphasis on facilitating public engagement and environmental impact assessments as necessary to enable as well as accelerate market uptake.

It will also contribute to provide a basis for the development of more informed policy, market support and financial frameworks, notably at national, regional and local level, leading to more cost effective support schemes and lower financing costs for RES facilities.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952874

ManagementProf. Dr. Bastian Schröter (
PartnerQ-Plan (K), Agenzia per la Promozione della Ricerca Europea, Civiesco, Steinbeis 2i, Women engage for a common Future, EUREC, White Research, Pedal consulting, Energy Agency of Plovdiv Ass., European Green Cities, European Centre for Women and Technology
FundingEuropean Union
ProgrammeHorizon 2020
Call for proposalLC-SC3-RES-28-2018-2019-2020 - Market Uptake support



Name & Position E-Mail & Telephone
Professor+49 711 8926 2371 7/028
Referentin für Energie- und Klimaschutzstrategie+49 711 8926 2372 7/106