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Heat pumps are the key to helping industries turn to electricity

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Geneva, 21 September – A new report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and DNV, a leading decarbonization advisory firm, electrifies manufacturing operations from fossil fuels by seizing the opportunities offered by heat pumps We are calling on companies to move to

This report focuses on market trends and policy trends that present an increasingly compelling business case for heat pumps. We provide business leaders with guidance on how to select markets that are ready for heat pump deployment and how companies can profitably install industrial heat pumps, from combining heating and cooling to leveraging innovative financing mechanisms. Here are the key actions that will help you grow in scale.

Decarbonizing industrial heat through electrification is key to tackling the climate crisis. The heat used to run industrial processes accounts for 29% of global energy demand and 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions. At a time of geopolitical instability and gas price spikes caused by the war in Ukraine, there is a growing urgency to move away from fossil fuel consumption, electrifying heat and turning to volatile natural gas prices. You have a great opportunity to reduce your exposure.

Heat pumps are the only heating technology with a potential thermal efficiency greater than 100%. This means that energy usage, operating costs and emissions can be significantly reduced, providing a circular solution where one company’s waste heat can support another company’s heat needs. Currently limited to heat supply up to 200°C, commercial heat pumps, mainly used in light industry, can supply 37% of the current industrial heat demand.

Key actions to strengthen the business case for heat pumps

This report describes how the low penetration of heat pump technology can be addressed by the following approaches:

  • Understand the lifetime costs of all options and the policy and market risks associated with fossil fuel-based heat using future utility and carbon pricing scenarios.
  • Look for opportunities to combine heating and cooling applications inside and outside your business and leverage existing waste heat streams.
  • We pursue opportunities to take advantage of fluctuating electricity rates and potential revenue-generating opportunities by providing grid balancing services.
  • Adopt alternative business models and funding mechanisms such as Heat as a Service.
  • Seize the opportunity to minimize disruption and capital costs by installing heat pumps during planned outages and at sites with no or limited additional grid connection costs.

“The electrification of heat is essential for decarbonizing industrial manufacturing operations. Heat pumps are one of the few on the market. When It is a commercially viable solution that can be implemented at scale over the next decade. ” Mariana Heinrich, Director of Energy, WBCSD

“Even before the recent rise in gas prices, clear market trends have made the business case for adopting heat pumps in industrial heating applications clearer than ever. achievable and therefore applicable to a wider range of industries.Application innovations combine heat and cooling loads internally and externally and connect them to other businesses and district heating systems. is also creating unique business opportunities.” Marcel Cremers, Principal Consultant, DNV

“By replacing gas-fired industrial heating applications with heat pumps, significant emissions reduction opportunities can be realized. Combining in-situ cooling applications with heating systems via heat pumps can further increase energy efficiency.” increase.” Scott Tew, Vice President of Sustainability, Trane Technologies

“Heat pumps not only electrify the generation of thermal energy, but also help make better use of low-quality industrial waste heat. Josep Maria Moragas, Senior Engineering Project Manager, Danone

The new report will be published as part of WBCSD’s Energy Pathways. In this pathway, 20 member companies are collaborating on renewable heat for industry by building capabilities to overcome barriers and unlock value using new technological, commercial and financing solutions. We invite all companies, initiatives and sector stakeholders to join us in tackling this systemic challenge.

If you are interested in learning more about our work, please contact Rutger van der Zanden, Manager of Energy Transformation.

We would like to thank our member companies for contributing to this document as part of the Industrial Heat workstream. Trane Technologies, Total Energy, Unilever.