Heat pumps are an incredible energy transition solution

One of the main tools to slash our global dependence to fossil fuels for heating and cooling is the mighty heat pump.

Installed in already efficient buildings that have received the adequate amounts of insulation and weatherization, heat pumps allow homes, offices and hospitals (and any other kind of buildings) to heat and cool without breaking the bank. The beauty of heat pumps is that with just one unit of electricity, they can produce three to four units of heat or cooling.

If during my technical training I learned about how such solutions can benefit smaller buildings, my work and my research lead me to understand that this can be the case for large buildings, and even entire neighborhoods.

Indeed, as per DW Planet A Youtube channel (yes, I know, another video), A single (huge) heat pump is heating and cooling 3,500 homes in Mannheim, Germany by using the heat contained in the Rhine river. This is quite an impressive German engineering feat I let you discover below :

Now, for the neat part whether we use heat pumps for residential or district heating applications. According to a study published last year, there is a “symbiotic effect of heat pumps and residential solar” and that “households in Germany, Spain, and Italy can more than triple their savings by pairing PV with heat pumps. It said this combination helped families to save between 62% and 84% on their annual energy bills in 2022.” Check out the full PV Magazine article for more on this.

With the world set to install litteral terrawatts worth of capacity of solar PV in the next decade, there is no doubt that heat pumps will revolutionize the way we heat and cool our homes.

If you are concerned that heat pumps might not be working with whatever cold weather there will be left in our near future, be reassured. As per this article in Euronews.green, “Norway is among the countries with the most heat pumps per capita, along with neighbouring Finland and Sweden.”. More data on that very fact on Carbonswitch.com.

Super efficient, running on super cheap solar electricity, able to either heat or cool homes and other buildings in the worst climates, there is no surprise that the market for this technology is booming. To the prestigious International Energy Agency, “At current growth rates, heat pumps would nearly double their share of heating in buildings by 2030″

The future can be brighter (and much more efficient) if we build it and heat pumps have a critical role to play in this.

Image credits : alpha innotec on Unsplash.

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