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Session 2 of the 3rd Delta-ee Utilities & Heat Pumps Roundtable - The value of smart: How close are we to capturing it?

3rd Utilities and Heat Pumps Roundtable Programme

Session 2 of the 3rd edition of Delta-ee’s Utilities & Heat Pumps Roundtable, organised in association with the ehpa, discussed the value smart heat pumps could bring to the energy sector.

Lindsay Sugden, Principal Analyst at Delta-ee assessed what developments since 2014’s Roundtable. We have seen, for example, steps towards implementation of some of the large demonstration projects; the emergence of new players in the market (independent aggregators; telecoms companies; IT companies); and the growth of “connectivity” bringing more and more opportunities for demand side technologies (incl HPs) to participate in the wider energy market and capture value.

Peter Wagener, BDH, emphasised that the need for a flexible demand side is already there and getting stronger, illustrating this with examples from a real Dutch town of the impact on peak demand of a moderate increase in heat pumps and electric vehicles (see BDH Scenariotool).

Koen Kok from TNO drew on his experience of implementing heat pumps in smart projects. He highlighted that it is more challenging to capture value from heat pumps which have been retrofitted than in new build, and that there are still regulatory restrictions to overcome – market mechanisms are not designed for large numbers of small assets such as heat pumps.

Cathy Crunelle of Laborelec highlighted that both thermal and electrical storage are becoming affordable options to support flexibility getting into the home, but that flexibility is not only a technical question - the end-user comfort and behaviour needs to be considered.

Views from delegates and the discussion...
  •        Most participants thought that 15-30% of heat pumps would be operated “smartly” by 2020
  •        The value to the customer from smart heat pumps was thought to be 10-15% savings on annual energy bills
  •        From the discussion it was clear that in some markets we are closer to capturing the value from smart – for example in Sweden utilities are now more engaged in offering flexible tariffs. But in other markets, there are still regulatory hurdles.



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Sunday, 27 September 2020

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