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Gas heating is not an affordable heating option anymore. Instead, the demand and uptake of heat pumps in Europe’s building stock have seen a major surge in the past few months. Global heat pump sales rose 15% in 2021. In Germany alone, demand rose by 25% in the first half of 2022 year-on-year. And in Finland, by as much as 80% year-on-year.
Heat pumps bring multiple benefits. So much so the European Commission and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have praised the technology: it saves emissions from heating (and cooling), it is proven that it can be installed in existing buildings and it brings multiple advantages for our grids in helping to electrify faster. Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine has had a huge impact on a market that has been in constant development for the past ten years.
In this episode, we discuss the present and future of heat pumps in Europe—and dispel the myths around it—with Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) in Brussels. Before working for the EHPA, he worked on several projects on the economic and social benefits of renewable energy. Thomas holds a university degree in business administration and economics.
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Art director: Trine Natskår.
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Placing decarbonisation of buildings on the international agenda means heat pumps can finally have their moment in the spotlight, says Richard Lowes of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Energy prices across Europe remain high and volatile with no signs of slowing down. But placing the power to change in consumers’ hands could help alleviate the pressure, says Johan Söderbom from EIT InnoEnergy
In episode 7, the team are joined by Alix Chambris and Brian Vad Mathiesen to discuss the potential pathways to decarbonise heating in Europe
Poland has recorded the strongest growth in heat pump sales in Europe in 2021. This is the result of market certainty and customer incentives and shows the way for other states looking to heat pumps in decarbonisation efforts, says Monika Morawiecka and Jan Rosenow from the Regulatory Assistance Project
Reducing the amount of energy we use is a key part of cutting emissions by 2050, but asking people to be more frugal could be challenging in a society that prizes consumption. Getting incentives right can shift attitudes
By using the wrong metrics, the European Union is locking in inefficient ways of space heating. Changing the definitions of renewable heat may help support low-carbon alternative technologies, says Duncan Gibb from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Green hydrogen is considered to be an energy carrier of the future, but many people are not aware that it can also be used to heat buildings. As a complementary fuel, hydrogen can be truly efficient, economical and sustainable all at the same time. Plus, when used to store surplus clean energy, hydrogen can also help balance the electricity grid—a major challenge when leveraging renewables, says Henning Sandfort of Siemens Smart Infrastructure
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Denmark has led the way on decarbonisation of heating, with a rapid transition away from fossil fuels aided by its large scale adoption of heating networks over the past 40 years. Instead of exchanging individual heating appliances in every home and commercial building, the Danes are centrally converting their heat networks to renewable energy, saving citizens a pile of money in the process
Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise
Research by Siemens shows the way forward to make district heating in Denmark run on clean energy sources
Charlotte Søndergren, head of heat planning for Danish HOFOR, questions whether collective heating is the best long-term solution for all countries or whether smaller, individual heat pumps offer a better alternative in some areas.
District heating, where heat from a central generator is distributed underground to warm a network of homes or businesses, is commonplace in Denmark and other Nordic and Baltic countries, but, until now, it has remained a rarity elsewhere in Europe
The bigger the pool of energy demand, the less the ripples in supply from renewable energy are felt. Special report part 2/3
Citizens across Europe are concerned about their heating bills as a result of the energy price crisis, but sustainable heating and cooling do not yet receive much attention in the EU’s agenda
Building design is key to reducing demand for energy guzzling air conditioning
Research from Heat Roadmap Europe and others shows the path ahead to bring the heating and cooling sector in line with the commitments of the Paris climate agreement