First heat pump industry summit tackles climate change hot topics

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The first summit to bring together thought leaders on the development of the global heat pump market and the role of thermal storage in decarbonising domestic heat has taken place in Scotland. In partnership with heat battery technology company Sunamp, the summit was jointly sponsored by the China Energy Conservation Association Heat Pump Professional Committee, the China Heat Pump Industry Alliance and the European Heat Pump Association.

Delegates representing China’s heat pump industry, the European Heat Pump Association, the International Copper Alliance and Sunamp were welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and trade Minister Ivan McKee at a special reception held at Bute House, the First Minister’s residence in the Edinburgh.

Sunamp Chief Executive Andrew Bissell opened the summit by outlining the opportunity Scotland and China has to work together to deliver clean energy by deploying heat pumps and thermal storage to meet government climate change targets. He highlighted the need for policymakers worldwide to recognise the value of thermal storage and heat pumps to the energy system, and later went on to outline the key role of heat batteries as the optimal energy storage option for heat pumps.

Mr Bissell said: “We were delighted to welcome all the delegates to Scotland for this important summit which was an opportunity to set out how we can collaboratively pursue an agenda of mutual benefit to the Chinese and European markets where the common goal is to decarbonise heat. Heat pumps allow the generation of 3-4 portions of heat by consuming 1 portion of electricity. Combining heat pump with energy-dense heat batteries provides a highly efficient and decarbonised solution for energy generation and storage. We enjoyed wide ranging discussions with the group and look forward to cementing some of these important relationships going forward.”

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) delivered the first keynote session on the critical role of Heat Pumps in achieving decarbonisation, and the impact of policy in accelerating adoption of world leading technologies in the heat pump market and thermal energy storage. He outlined the role he saw for Europe in helping help China achieve their clean energy goals.

Mr Zhao Hengyi and Mr Haisheng Xu of the China Energy Conservation Association (CECA) and the China Heat Pump Association (CHPA) examined the critical role of heat pumps in achieving heat decarbonisation and the opportunities for Scotland and China to work collaboratively in cutting carbon emissions worldwide. Mr Gao Yifeng of the International Copper Alliance led a session on why copper is critical to heat pumps and heat batteries.

The second keynote speech was delivered by Richard Jennings, managing director of Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association who focused on the role of heat pumps, the electrification of heat, and the end of gas and heat batteries in meeting society’s multiple social, economic and environmental objectives. The meeting then looked at various case studies, including the EastHeat project, the largest residential heat storage project in Europe that installed heat batteries and renewable technologies in over 650 social housing homes across Scotland. The day finished with a round table discussion followed by the First Minister’s reception and dinner at Bute House.

Day two of the summit saw delegates visit Sunamp’s manufacturing facility in East Lothian where they were welcomed by the East Lothian Provost John McMillan. In the afternoon they had a tour of the University Of Edinburgh School Of Chemistry led by Professor Colin Pulham. Sunamp and the University of Edinburgh were recently awarded the Powerful Partnership Award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019 in recognition of a collaboration which began in 2010 as Sunamp sought to develop new heat storage technology using phase change materials.

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