24 June 2014

WHY ENERGY COMPANIES WILL NEED SMART HEAT PUMPS – AND POTENTIALLY SMART HYBRIDS


The direction of travel is clear for European markets – demand side flexibility will be an essential requirement of the future energy system. In some markets (e.g. Germany, France, Denmark), the first signs of the requirement are there. In other markets (e.g. the UK),
future penetration of renewables and increasing distribution network congestion will see increased requirements for flexibility.

The demand side is well positioned to provide this required flexibility. Our research indicates that electric heating can play a significant role in this flexible demand revolution, if it can both maximise available flexibility, and benefit the customer.

We see a huge amount of activity and different approaches to using heat pumps – and electric heating – as a flexible demand resource. Smart hybrid solutions are an approach which our research indicates has particular potential as a flexible demand resource. In the short-term hybrid solutions can increase penetration of electric heat pumps in new and
challenging market sectors (e.g. the on-gas grid sector in countries like the UK and Netherlands). In the long-term, hybrid solutions offer opportunities to increase available flexibility by enabling the switch between electricity and other energy sources.