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European heat pump body calls for greener EU HVACR policy

The European Heat Pump Association has used its annual forum event to call for a bolder EU focus on more sustainable building services as it eyes larger market share of region’s HVAC sector

A major meeting of heat pump specialists has called on the EU to take an even stronger stance on sustainable heating and cooling following this week’s elections for the European parliament.

Thomas Nowak, secretary general of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), said that an estimated 50 per cent of the EU’s overall energy consumption went towards heating and cooling functions.

Mr Nowak therefore called for a much greater political focus and priority in ensuring a more sustainable approach to how heating and cooling functions are delivered at a domestic and industrial level.

He added, “We are cooperating with many industries and sectors to co-create a better future for Europe. We are also ready to support the work of the new political leaders arising from this month’s European elections.”

The comments were made during the organisation’s 2019 heat pump forum that brought together some 200 individuals from across the sector to discuss how innovations in heat pump technology, and efforts to expand their uptake, can complement aims to decarbonise all EU economies by 2050.

Just under 10 per cent of EU buildings are currently heated using a heat pump, according to the EHPA.

Mr Nowak has argued during the EHOA forum that the industry needed to play up the potential benefits heat pumps can play in supporting European energy and climate targets.

He said, “Maybe the biggest advantage is their availability. Available heat pump technology can be deployed in residential, commercial buildings as well as in industrial processes. Recent technological developments allow their deployment in the renovation of residential buildings and in industrial processes. The latter units can efficiently provide up to 160 deg C.”

The current debate on the role of gas and electricity as sources to heat and their respective roles in transforming how temperatures are managed in homes can differ significantly between individual EU member states. For example, gas is currently the dominant source of heating in the UK, even with ongoing work to rethink heating and end the use of existing gas heating technologies on the market in new build homes by 2025.

Mr Nowak said this year’s forum event considered issues such as ensuring the right interplay between electrification and gasification strategies. Other focuses discussed at the forum included looking at innovations in technology and their usage at either a national, regional or local level to offer a more efficient and sustainable operation.

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