Local utility installs one of Europe’s largest heat pumps in Rhine River
Clean Energy Wire
A local utility in southern Germany city Mannheim is building one of Europe’s largest heat pumps in a trial project attempting to use energy from the Rhine River for heating. The project is one of five similar attempts supported by Germany’s climate and economy ministry (BMWK) to find alternative heat pump technologies in the framework of its “energy transition real-life lab” programme. Hansjörg Roll, head of technology at utility MVV said the “innovative river heat pump” made by Siemens Energy will have a thermal capacity of 20 megawatts (MW) and an electric capacity of 7 MW and contribute to the company’s district heating network. “It will be one of the largest heat pumps in Europe,” Roll said. The river heat pump is supposed to service 3,500 households with heat and save up to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. If successful, the project could be followed by many similar ones in the region, for which MVV gauges the potential in its vicinity to be about 500 MW, enough for about heating about 50,000 households.
The use of heat in buildings accounts for more than one third of all CO2 emissions in Germany. Optimising and decarbonising the heat supply therefore offers great potential for the energy transition.