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What will the energy transition see happen in 2021? Predictions from our new energy experts

The New Energy Business Model team have been gazing into their crystal ball - borrowed from the Talking New Energy team - to predict what 2021 will bring for the energy transition. As ever, they don’t agree on everything. What do you think of their predictions and what do you believe 2021 has in store? Get in touch and let us know.

Andy Bradley, Director

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Can heat pumps ever be “sexy like a Tesla”?

In discussions about decarbonising heat, we often hear people lament that heating just isn't "sexy" enough. A few months ago I was at an event where one of the UK environmental NGOs complained to a room of heating industry professionals that heat pumps are "bl**dy ugly", and don't really offer anything over gas boilers in terms of delivering comfort. Why can't we learn from the likes of Tesla or Apple, they asked, and make a product that offers a superior user experience and looks alright outside our homes?

This got me thinking about how comparable heat pumps are to electric vehicles, and to Teslas in particular. So I looked into the stats, asked the HVAC manufacturers what they thought, and debated the topic with my colleagues. There are certainly some lessons I think we can take from EVs, but there are also fundamental differences between heating and vehicles that we shouldn’t forget. In my view, all this talk of “making heat sexy” is a generally unhelpful distraction from the challenges we really need to address. Here’s why.

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