22 May 2008

HEAT PUMPS IN TRANSITION TO A RENEWABLE SOCIETY


The Dutch energy policy has been stimulating the research and development on
heat pumps for quite some years in order to support market implementation. Specific policy
instruments, such as EPC/EPL (Energy Performance Coefficient/ Energy Performance on
Location), stimulate low-energy building, thereby leaving it to the market players to make
their own choices for the application of interchangeable energy conserving heat pumps
concepts in (new) buildings. In recent years the heat pump has ultimately been able to gain a
temporary unsteady market share of 6% (2007) in new residential buildings. However, its
minor market position does by far not reflect the energy-conserving potential of this mature
technology.
The heat pump concepts, both gas- and electricity-driven can now already save energy by
the use of commercially available technologies, can substantially contribute to sustainability
in both new and existing houses, and can play a predominant role in the construction of
energy neutral buildings in the future. A higher degree of sustainability cannot be achieved in
the building industry by other technologies.
For marketing reasons, the Transition Platform Renewable Electricity (TP-DEV) and
SenterNovem recently have consulted a group of key stakeholders in the market to jointly
draw up a status document in order to elucidate, how other energy conservation and
sustainability options interrelate with heat pump systems, how heat pump concepts
contribute to sustainability of the energy supply system, and what the necessary efforts
should be to achieve a sound development of the heat pumps market.