How heat pumps can accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon economy
Louis Rompre, Trane Commercial HVAC EMEA-ANZ, represents Trane Technologies in panel discussion at 2023 European Heat Pump Forum on September 27th.
The European Heat Pump Forum is an annual event dedicated to bringing together thought leaders, policymakers, industry giants, and influential stakeholders to share expertise, innovations; brainstorm solutions; and foster out-of-the-box thinking. It’s become a vital gathering that unites the industry towards a common goal: expanding the role of heat pump technologies in our society.
Louis Rompre, Portfolio Leader Unitary EMEA-ANZ, participated in a roundtable titled, ‘The role of heat pumps in the global transition to a low-carbon economy’ where he shared thoughts on why we need to continue innovating and pushing the boundaries in areas such as refrigerants, competitiveness, efficiency, technology, energy management, thermal systems, and heat recovery. The room was full and the discussion rich.
“As an industry, we need to get better at showing what we can do today in the drive towards meeting the global energy challenge. Much of what might be considered the technology of the future is already here. ” said Louis.
Advancing REPowerEU in a "HeatBeat": The Heat Pump Accelerator
Trane Technologies is leading the discussion around the benefits of using thermal management systems to decarbonize buildings and cities with renewable electricity garnered by recovering energy from chilling and heating.
As Louis shared, “When it comes to decarbonization, the electrification of heating is the next great frontier. The replacement of fossil fuel-based heating systems with efficient, all-electric technologies will greatly reduce buildings’ energy use. Heat pumps can make a big difference today. As an industry, we need the ‘buy in’ from the market as well as government support to accelerate the transition to heat pumps.”
And that is what the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan is all about. It has set forth ambitious targets, calling for a doubling of newly installed heat pumps annually. EHPA estimates 20 million additional heat pumps by 2026 and 60 million by 2030, surpassing the current count of 17 million units. To achieve these goals, the European Commission is developing a Heat Pump Action Plan, scheduled for release by the end of 2023.
According to Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, heat pumps are part of a sustained plan for the roll out of cleaner, greener and future proof energy systems. “The action plan on heat pumps will be published only "after the adoption of the directive on the energy efficiency of buildings" because it is "in this framework" that "we want to accelerate the spread of heat pumps and lay the foundations for heat pumps to gradually become the new boiler.”
The case for heat pumps*
Scientists, engineers, policy makers and industry experts see heat pumps as a key solution to the climate emergency and the energy crisis.
A fast heat pump roll-out would make Europe less dependent on foreign energy imports by reducing gas demand in buildings by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 2022 and reducing the EU’s energy import bill by €60 billion over the same period.
Heat pumps likewise save considerable amounts of greenhouse gases. The 20 million heat pumps installed in Europe today mean 54 million tonnes fewer greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of Greece.
Burning fossil fuels and biomass for heating not only emits carbon dioxide, but also other air pollutants that damage people’s health. Heat pumps do not emit air pollutants at their point of operation — their increased deployment will reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions across the EU by almost 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 2022.
Heat pumps are a cost-competitive option for consumers as they are on average 30 per cent cheaper to run over their lifetime than a gas boiler in the EU.
Leading the way
Trane continues to lead the way. Demonstrating our progress, we submitted four different efficient, smart and sustainable heat pump projects in the Heat Pump Award competition, including the Annecy Lake project in France.
Thanks to a water loop, Lake Annecy in France supplies heating and domestic hot water to 570 homes in the Trésums District and cools the PVG Group's 4* Le Pélican hotel. The lake resource is replacing gas with 65% renewable energy and recovery. The three Trane RTWF heat pumps at the heart of the system are completely dissimulated underground to not alter the site's natural beauty.
Trane offers a portfolio of solutions to support your shift to electric energy. We design electric HVAC systems choosing equipment and components that make sense for each application. Heat pumps are a key enabler for decarbonization. Rather than generating heat, our heat pump systems move heat from one location to another—we’ll look at the heat in your building load or process cooling load, the outdoor air, wastewater or water treatment sources and identify the right heat source for you. From there, we can configure systems to meet the temperature, flows and redundancy requirements for year-round heating and cooling—in a broad range of climate environments.
“We are making change and our success stories keep growing,” said Louis. “We are proud to have a strong voice in the industry, encouraging others to join Trane Technologies as we progress our decarbonization efforts.”
* Extract from the ‘Heat Pump Accelerator’. The publication was handed over to EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson on 6 June by the coordinators of the initiative, the European Heat Pump Association and the European Climate Foundation.
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