A typical critique of the “electrify every thing” motion is that it is going to be close to inconceivable to supply sufficient clear electrical energy to switch the fossil fuels utilized in buildings and transportation and ensure the grid is powerful sufficient to ship it.
Whereas this concern is legitimate, there is a crucial card humanity has in its again pocket to fulfill this problem: Warmth pumps, that are so environment friendly that their elevated deployment will offset a lot of the electrical energy that’s at present used inefficiently. This saved electrical energy will permit new electrical hundreds (like automobiles) seamlessly onto the grid.
Let’s illustrate this level with two necessary electrification applied sciences: a warmth pump water heater (HPWH) and an electrical car (EV). Each applied sciences are all electrical and scale back carbon emissions and so they complement each other in an necessary approach. One will save almost all of the electrical energy that the opposite must function. Two units of numbers, and a pair drawings, clarify how.
As Individuals transition to EVs over the subsequent decade, the common house will want round 2,363 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electrical energy to energy every of these autos, in response to the Division of Power’s 2020 RECS survey. This will probably be a brand new electrical load on the grid, as gasoline and diesel have powered our autos for the final century. 2,363 kWh is a whole lot of electrical energy, a couple of 22% enhance within the annual consumption of the common house which at present makes use of 10,632 kWh per 12 months.
However now for the second quantity. ENERGY STAR estimates that a three-person house (common US family is 2.5 individuals) will save 2,820 kWh yearly with a warmth pump water heater. These financial savings greater than offset the ability wanted to cost an EV! This can be a testomony to the effectivity of warmth pumps and the quantity of vitality we at present waste in heating our water.
About half of the US has electrical resistance water heaters, in order these houses change to warmth pump water heaters, we received’t have to fret about discovering extra electrical energy to energy their electrical autos. (The opposite half of houses warmth water with fossil fuels so we might want to produce extra clear vitality for these houses and autos.) Plus, these owners received’t should pay any extra in utility payments when driving electrical, and all the cash they at present spend on the fuel pump will return into their pockets. Comparable vitality financial savings may even come from transitioning electrical resistance area heaters and dryers to warmth pumps.
Whereas environment friendly electrification received’t save all of the kWh we’ll must fully electrify society, this one instance exhibits the way it will go a great distance. So subsequent time you hear that there received’t be sufficient clear electrical energy to energy a clear vitality world, ask the naysayer in the event that they’ve ever heard of the mighty warmth pump water heater.
If this text helps get you jazzed about warmth pump water heaters, October 25 is Warmth Pump Water Heater Day, a day to have fun this wonderful know-how that nobody has heard of.
This text is a part of a sequence known as Decarbonize Your Life. With modest steps and a middle-class revenue, our household has dramatically decreased emissions and is sequestering what stays via a small reforestation undertaking. Our life is best for it. If we are able to do it, you possibly can too.
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