Munich, 17 January 2023 – Without decarbonization of the heating sector, the energy transition will not succeed. Heating emitted more than four gigatons of CO2 emissions in 2021 – thus accounting for one tenth of global energy-related CO2 emissions. At the same time, space and water heating are responsible for around 80 percent of direct emissions from buildings. Making the heating sector sustainable is therefore imperative. The heat pump has emerged as the tool that will drive this heating transition – especially if it can be intelligently controlled. The newly published report from gridX, Europe's leading smart energy scale-up, has taken on the topic of heat pumps and provides an overview of current figures, regulations, technologies and assessments from leading experts in the energy industry.
Heat pumps: driving the decarbonization of the energy sector
Like all energy sectors, the heating sector is undergoing rapid change. The question has often been raised as to which heating source will meet heating needs in a sustainable way – biomass, biogas, or hydrogen. Meanwhile, heat pumps have emerged among experts as the primary means of decarbonizing the heating sector. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), heat pumps will halve global fossil fuel consumption in this sector by 2030. As the share of renewables in the electricity mix increases, emissions will drop even further. So, to achieve decarbonization goals, heating must be electrified and, at the same time, the share of renewables expanded.
Energy management reduces costs and eases the burden on the grid
The electrification of heating, along with other sectors such as mobility, places additional burden on power grids. This increases the need for costly grid extensions and makes the system more decentralized. It is therefore more important than ever to leverage the full flexibility of electrified assets, such as heat pumps. Intelligently managing the consumption of heat pumps and shifting their loads to off-peak periods minimizes grid congestion and lowers costs for all parties involved. Jan Rosenow, Executive Director of the Regulatory Assistance Project in the UK, says, "deploying flexibility at the household level reduces overall system costs by reducing the need for grid extensions and easing grid congestion."
Balancing supply and demand
Shifting consumption of electricity-consuming assets also helps to stabilize and scale intermittent renewable energy sources. By connecting and optimizing energy flows between a PV system and a heat pump, for example, a home can maximize its self-sufficiency, reduce heating costs, and relieve pressure on the electrical grid. The key? Intelligent energy management systems, such as gridX's XENON IoT platform. "To overcome the many challenges facing society and energy systems, electrified assets must be digitally integrated into energy management systems," says Till Sonnen, Business Development Manager at gridX, in the report. Smart integration and automatic optimization therefore unleash the full power of heat pumps to enable more cost-effective scaling of renewables, reduced dependence on fossil fuels and accelerated decarbonization of the heating sector – necessary for the energy transition to succeed.
For more information, see gridX's new heat pump report.
gridX is Europe's leading smart energy company based in Aachen and Munich. With its IoT platform XENON, gridX enables manufacturer-independent monitoring and management of distributed energy resources. XENON allows partners to develop and scale energy management solutions faster than ever before. By partnering with gridX, Fastned is able to install more charging points at sites without the need for costly grid extensions, and the Viessmann Group is able to offer its customers intelligent and integrated home energy management systems.