Fossil-fueled appliances in buildings are a significant source of emissions, not only of greenhouse gases but also pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are responsible for a variety of air and water quality and health problems. A model rule recently developed and published by RAP proposes an approach to regulating NOx emissions from water heaters over time. The goal is to drive transformation of the market for these appliances, particularly through adoption of efficient electric heat pump models. Similar appliance emission rules are already in place for water heaters and furnaces in the Bay Area of California and elsewhere, and other agencies are likely to follow suit.
To make such a transformation smooth for households, new appliance technology must be affordable and accessible. In an interactive webinar, panelists from RAP, RMI, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation discussed the keys to transforming this market, from innovative appliance standards to consumer-friendly pilot programs.
The most powerful tool for rapidly decarbonising heating in buildings and homes is the humble heat pump. How powerful? The International Energy Agency’s recently released analysis estimates that potential global carbon dioxide emissions reductions from heat pumps can reach at least 500 million tonnes in 2030. This would be akin to eliminating the annual CO2 emissions from all of the cars in Europe today.
Evidence from the IEA underscores the ‘why’ of switching to heat pumps while the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), CLASP and the Global Buildings Performance Network offer further insights on the ‘how.’ The three organisations collaborated to create a toolkit to help policymakers develop packages to drive the heat pump market and deployment of the technology at scale.
On 15 December 2022, the Electrification Academy welcomed the lead author of the IEA report, Yannick Monschauer, and two of the heat pump toolkit authors, Richard Lowes of RAP and Matt Malinowski from CLASP. They shared:
Highlights and conclusions of the IEA study The future of heat pumps, including examination of barriers and solutions for heat pump deployment.
Comments Off on Smart cities, you’ve got a friend in electric cars: How to unleash the potential of smart charging through public procurement
The electrification of road transport is happening – and it is already having a profound impact on the energy system and our cities. As more and more people drive electric, smart charging can ease the integration of the newcomers into the grid.
Smart charging enables charging to automatically happen at times when electricity costs are lowest – without compromising the needs of vehicle owners. As a result, smart charging creates a powerful opportunity to use more renewable energy and better utilise existing grids, accelerating the energy transition while reducing costs for all.
Cities are essential actors in making smart charging happen at a large scale. Every time they publish a public procurement procedure and every time they issue permits for EV infrastructure, it is in their hands to make smart charging work better — now and in the years to come.
But how can local authorities deploy a future-proof, robust smart charging network, with technology rapidly evolving?
Important standards supporting smart charging – such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) – are not yet available for charging stations built today. To avoid becoming obsolete before the end of its expected lifetime, infrastructure must be ready for future upgrades.
In a webinar held on 15 December 2022, Luka De Bruyckere from ECOS and Jaap Burger of RAP presented their new guide explaining how to build future-proof infrastructure, and equip cities to make the right choices when procuring new charging infrastructure.
Guest speaker Hugo Niesing from the city of Amsterdam shared his experience in advancing smart charging in a city that leads the transition to e-mobility.
Moderated by Ivo Cabral, Press & Communications Manager, Environmental Coalition on Standards at ECOS.
Amidst rising gas prices and groundbreaking US climate legislation, heat pumps are in the national spotlight. Now is the time to accelerate the deployment of this super-efficient technology across the country. But on a practical level, what is the most feasible and cost-effective path for consumers to adopt and operate heat pumps in their homes?
CLASP and RAP co-hosted a dynamic conversation about the opportunities to increase the deployment of heat pumps by using them to replace end-of-life air conditioners. This unique solution, in which the legacy heating system remains in place as a backup for high heating loads, offers consumers leading cost and energy savings while taking vital steps toward full home heating decarbonization.
Participants heard from leaders across the policy, research, industry, and installer communities to learn more about how this solution is already contributing to state and federal decarbonization goals.
Securing a clean, efficient and affordable power system is a complex undertaking in the best of times. The current energy crisis, however, has compounded the challenge with a cost-of-living crisis, the need to free Europe from its dependency on Russian fossil gas, and the ever-present spectre of climate change. A seemingly insurmountable task begs all available resources. One of the most powerful — and often undervalued — solutions is household demand-side flexibility.
Empowering and rewarding consumers who are able to shift how and when they use electricity is a vital power system resource. Demand-side flexibility contributes to a reliable and decarbonised power system while reducing costs, a critical outcome for low-income and disadvantaged households.
The term “transition” implies moving away from one thing and toward something else. The energy transition in the United States has challenged utility regulators to ensure that the movement away from fossil-fuel-dominated resources, and the adoption of lower-carbon resources in their place, will not put at risk the economic benefits, security, and reliability associated with our current energy system.
As part of this transition, states across the country are exploring ways to lower the emissions associated with a particular energy demand: building heat. In a webinar discussion, panelists took a closer look at a variety of these efforts under way. Policies adopted or being considered by Northeast and Western states illustrate how cleaner heat does not need to be an “either/or” proposition, but instead can provide everyone — suppliers, consumers, and grid operators — with choices and a path toward a lower-carbon future.
European policymakers and car manufacturers are increasingly committing to the phaseout of internal combustion engine vehicles. With this shift to electric transport, tariffs and services for so-called smart charging of EVs bring significant value to consumers and the power sector. Now is the time to build a robust regulatory framework to expand the markets for these offerings consistently across the entire continent.
On 25 May, the Electrification Academy welcomed Jaap Burger and Julia Hildermeier of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) to share the findings of their study The time is now: smart charging of electric vehicles. The authors, who analysed 139 smart charging tariffs and services across Europe, shared:
A brief overview of the benefits of smart charging for users and the power system.
Innovative approaches and best practice examples of dedicated EV tariffs and services.
Recommendations to accelerate the use of smart charging.
In this era of urgent and ambitious climate goals, most paths to a decarbonised power system feature high shares of variable renewable energy, primarily wind and solar. To avoid high costs, new tools to capture the benefits of these clean resources are needed, to manage the new loads from electrification of heating and transport, and accommodate increasingly distributed system sources. Ensuring reliability will require faster response times and greater flexibility.
The International Energy Agency’s Wind Technology Collaboration Program Task 25 has explored these formidable challenges in their report Design and operation of energy systems with large amounts of variable generation. On 30 March 2022, the Electrification Academy welcomed lead author Hannele Holttinen to share the findings of IEA Wind TCP Task 25. She drew on the extensive information gathered in the report to share:
Recent experience and study results from 17 countries on operating and planning systems with large amounts of variable renewable energy sources.
How net-zero plans affect power system planning and operation.
Suppose you are a fleet manager, in charge of your organization’s efficient transportation of people and goods. By necessity, you must be an expert at planning, budgeting, financing, purchasing, operations, scheduling, and the maintenance of vehicles that use fossil fuels. Now, suppose you have an opportunity to electrify your fleet. How can you effectively assess the economics and the complex logistical challenges of such a transition?
The answer is advisory services, assistance offered by utilities or other companies to educate and enable consumers — whether fleet managers or individuals — to make informed decisions. This webinar explores the various needs that advisory services meet and elevates considerations for states as they further electrify their transportation sectors.
We heard the story of fleet electrification from the varying perspectives of a school district, a transportation services provider, a technology company, and a utility:
Timothy Shannon, transportation director, Twin Rivers (Calif.) Unified School District
Matt Stanberry, managing director, Highland Electric Fleets
Yanzhi (Ann) Xu, co-founder and CEO, ElectroTempo
Jason Peuquet, strategy and policy manager, clean transportation, Xcel Energy
Regulators, meanwhile, will increasingly encounter advisory service program requests from utilities and a greater presence of third-party providers offering these services. How can they approach these requests and make sure that they are consistent with state policies? RAP’s Jeff Ackermann, a former utility commissioner, acted as respondent to address some of these questions. David Farnsworth and Camille Kadoch moderated the session.
To achieve climate and energy goals, decarbonising Europe’s building stock is critical. As part of the ‘renovation wave,’ solar photovoltaic power systems, heat pumps, electricity storage and electric vehicles chargers will become prevalent in our homes. This raises the question whether the EU dwelling stock is ready for this transition. Around 50% of domestic buildings were built before 1990 without anticipating the needs of today and tomorrow.
The deployment of safe, efficient and smart electrical installations on a large scale requires a long-term vision grounded in a strong foundation of policy, tools and standards.
The Electrification Academy welcomed Prof. Angelo Baggini from the University of Bergamo to share his analysis of electrical installations in Europe and proposes solutions on the path towards zero-emissions buildings by:
Showing the difference between an electrical installation from 1990 and the needs of today and tomorrow
Analysing the implications of far-reaching electrification from a technical, policy and consumer point of view.
Presenting two case studies of home renovations in typical EU dwellings: an apartment and a single-family house.
Recommending improvements to legislation and standards.
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