From FORESIGHT Climate & Energy, Watt Matters is a podcast all about the energy transition and the shift to a decarbonised economy.
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The decarbonisation of heating is as important as any other sector in the energy transition but is perhaps sometimes a little overlooked.
The sector’s main tools to help remove carbon emissions from space heating are heat pumps and the rollout of the technology is quickly gathering pace, particularly in Europe, but regulatory and technological barriers remain.
The guest on the podcast this week is Thomas Nowak, secretary general of the European heat pump association. Nowak describes what the sector needs to see happen to fully unleash its potential, while he and Michaela debate the European Commission’s revised F-Gas directive.
Enjoy the show.
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Illustration: Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva.
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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)
The energy crisis has prompted a major surge in demand for heat pumps and the technology is widely recognised as a no-regret option to decarbonise heating and cooling, but many are still to be convinced
Criticism of his decision to rip out a fully functioning gas boiler in favour of a heat pump led Jan Rosenow, director of European programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project, to do some serious number crunching
A fully renewable energy future is within reach and storage is definitely required, but it is a combination of measures that will truly make it possible, argues Johan Söderbom of EIT InnoEnergy
Investors are desperate to put money into sustainable ventures, but entrepreneurs trying to bring novel cleantech concepts to market complain about a lack of funding. Without support, Europe could risk a brain drain in cleantech innovation
Energy efficiency measures, coupled with renewables, are the right tools for achieving carbon neutrality and protecting our energy sovereignty, says Francesco Venturini of Enel X Global Retail
Europe has set ambitious objectives in its energy transition, but the continent risks not having the workforce to make it happen
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)
Following yet another round of COP negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, only limited progress again was made in the global effort to keep global warming limited to 1.5C. This week, the team discusses the value of these negotiations in the quest to avoid catastrophic climate change
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
With the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the United States is unleashing billions of dollars to promote climate solutions and clean energy technology
Take a read of our most popular opinions from 2022 and hear from some of the brightest thought leaders on the energy transition
Grids need to accommodate a host of new and variable low-carbon assets, but who should manage how they operate and what they get paid remains a thought exercise despite the changes already happening
The European Commission should include clean heat standards in its forthcoming Net Zero Industry Act to force industry and enable consumers to switch from fossil fuel boilers to lower-emitting heat pumps, concludes a new report from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Around 50% of the shift from fossil fuels to renewable forms of energy has been a digitised transition to 2020, says Energinet, Denmark's power system operator. As the world digitises further, the already vast volumes of data will only increase in mass. Advances in Artificial Intelligence technology and machine learning tools provide ways of processing this tsunami of data into a new world order
Thousands of buildings across Europe will need to be renovated on an unprecedented scale if climate and greenhouse gas reduction targets are to be met. Lawmakers’ minds are turning to how best to undertake the Herculean task
Cities are taking the lead on the decarbonisation of district heating and cooling networks, with the use of heat pumps on the rise
Governments are increasingly legislating for the building of new net-zero housing. But improving the green credentials of the existing housing stock is a much more difficult path to navigate. Now communities are being empowered to clean up their homes through collective action
This week, Jan, Michaela and David are joined by Jorge Vasconcelos, chair of New Energy Solutions (NEWES) and part of the Florence School of Regulation. Jorge tells us how electricity market design is essential in getting clean energy to where it is needed
In episode 7, the team are joined by Alix Chambris and Brian Vad Mathiesen to discuss the potential pathways to decarbonise heating in Europe
The energy transition is not simply a matter of replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon alternatives. It will also be marked by a radical change in our relationship with energy and the spread of technologies like heat pumps and electric vehicles that can yield significant efficiency gains even before traditional energy savings measures come into play
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
Decarbonisation of heating requires switching from systems and appliances that combust fossil fuels to those that rely on renewable energy. Nowhere is the switch more challenging to achieve for existing building stock than in the UK. If it can be done there, it can be done anywhere
Applying large heat pumps in industry is in its early days, but interest is increasing
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
Research demonstrates that demand management can create value for private customers and the power system
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.