A good way to decarbonize building heat

In the spring of last year, the European Parliament approved a series of amendments to the directive Energy efficiency of buildingsI amos, with the aim of ending heating boilers using fossil fuels. The stated reason From the European Parliament Two-thirds of the energy used for air conditioning in buildings continues to originate from these polluting energy sources, so „phasing out fossil fuels in heating and cooling is particularly urgent to achieve zero emissions”.

Thus, it has set a deadline of 2028 for the construction of new buildings Net zero, this implies that in the case of gas and diesel boilers, their phase-out will be from 2035 onwards. However, the EU's urgency will come into force from this year, as the technologies underlying their operation will cease to receive subsidies. As an alternative, Brussels points out, „there are various options such as renewable energy supply. on the siteEspecially through heat pipes and solar technologies,” he notes.

Precisely, some European systems like European Environment Agency (EEB, its abbreviation in English) he collects in his study Green heat for all „With strategic investments, strong policies and public awareness, this technology will pave the way for a more sustainable energy future, helping Europe achieve its environmental and climate goals.” The text notes that the initial costs of betting on this option will pay off in seven years and allow annual savings of up to $900.

Another company has expressed itself in the same way, in this case European Environment Agency (EEA), recently published its annual balance sheet, which states that „a 2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was recorded in 2022, in an environment of rising natural gas prices”. These data add to the decline recorded over the past three decades: „The EU has reduced net greenhouse gas emissions by 31% compared to 1990 levels.” The agency mentions this data in its report Trends and Forecasts for Europe 2023There he further mentions “According to statistics European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), three million heat pumps were sold in Europe in 2022, an increase of 39% compared to 2021.

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In parallel, the European Commission finalizes the so-called EU Heat Pump Action PlanIts approval is scheduled for the first half of 2024, once the European elections are held. Based on this effort 2022 Commission Report In the competitiveness of clean energy technologies, „deployment of heat pipes of all types, from single-family houses to large apartments or tertiary buildings” is recommended.

However, some sectors did not see the post-election postponement as positive: „Europe is lagging behind on decarbonisation because, instead of tackling the problem, they left it on the back burner,” lamented the aforementioned Secretary-General Thomas Novak. EHPA. „This situation will not only affect the sector and its 7 billion euro investment, but also energy efficiency,” the expert added. Critical voices have also been raised with the National Integrated Energy and Climate Project (PNIEC) in Spain. Especially the Association for Energy Conversion In September the PNIEC condemned the reduction of the contribution of the heat pump by 25%, the commitment to this resource in other European countries is huge and unquestionable.”

Five times more efficient

The key to placing the heat pump at the center of the buildings' energy transformation is to be found in its efficiency. To understand its function in general, the Air Conditioning Equipment Manufacturers Association (AFEC) describes it as a technology that “uses natural resources – wind, water or land – to provide not only heat, but also year-round cooling and domestic hot water”. as? „The transfer of heat from the outside environment—however cold it may be—to the interior of the house or premises must be heated.” Likewise, „in the case of reversible equipment, it not only heats but also cools, carrying heat in the reverse direction, away from the premises, in this case it cools the premises.” But they insist from AFEC Quit The point is that „a heat pump transmits more heat than it consumes,” specifically „three to five times more,” they say.

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In this sense, A recent study He notes that the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) supports its use because „it is the cheapest option for heating an average 90 square meter apartment, with an annual bill five times lower than the most expensive option, electric radiators.” . Also, „the relationship between the cost and efficiency of heat pumps reaches 350 percent and their purchase and installation cost is not very high, about 2,650 euros for a power of 3.5 kW.” Likewise, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Conservation (IDEA) and AFEC itself have issued guidelines for users interested in installing this technology in their homes and implementing retrofit projects. A specific guide About the thing.

Finally, it is worth noting that the International Energy Agency puts figures on the savings that can be achieved with this technology: in 2030 across Europe, gas demand in buildings will be reduced by 21,000 million cubic meters. As revealed by the fact that three million heat pumps have been installed by 2022, there is only one path, and the Old Continent has already started to follow suit, and the EU's projection indicates that this number should increase to at least ten million. More till 2027.

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