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30 Jul 2021, 11:34
Jessica Bateman

Heat pumps key to helping decarbonise urban buildings - researchers

Clean Energy Wire

The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE has released a study looking at how heat pumps could contribute to climate neutral urban communities. In a press release, the institute said it believes the technology is a key tool for replacing fossil fuel heating in towns and cities. It suggested that heat from waste-to-energy plants, industrial waste heat and deep geothermal energy could all be harnessed as sources for heat pumps depending on the region. The study, which was carried out in collaboration with the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), also found that the expansion of district heating networks and the transition to renewable power sources can only be achieved with state support. "For the urban heat transition, large heat pumps will play a very important role in the colourful bouquet of technology options," Ingbert Liebing, chief executive of VKU, said in the release. "However, in order to overcome hurdles, such as the limited range of manufacturers and high ancillary electricity costs, we need an attractive subsidy quickly."

Coupling the power and heating sector is increasingly seen as a way forward for Germany, and German energy efficiency experts have pointed to the Danish model of district heating as an important inspiration for how to reach the country's targets in energy efficiency.

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