Industrial Heat Pumps to Pave Europe’s Path to Net Zero

Webinar photo

In Europe’s journey toward decarbonisation, heat pump technologies stand out as a leading solution for heating and cooling, promising a sustainable industrial energy transition. Heat accounts for a significant portion, approximately 60%, of energy consumption in Europe’s industrial sector. Compelling success stories showcased at the webinar “Sustaining Success of Industrial Heat Pumps – A Call to Action!” hosted by the European Heat Pump Association on 14 March make a strong case for adopting high-temperature industrial heat pumps.

This online event was orchestrated as part of three EU-funded initiatives: SUSHEAT, PUSH2HEAT, and SPIRIT, which are financed by Horizon Europe. These projects aim to foster the adoption of high-temperature heat pumps (HTHP) within the industrial sector.

Gathering top industry experts alongside an impressive turnout of 140 online participants, the webinar revealed ground-breaking developments in industrial heat pumps. It delved into the challenges and opportunities surrounding the integration of heat pumps in Europe, offering insights from both technology providers and end-users.

Arne Høeg, CEO of SUSHEAT partner Enerin, a pioneering manufacturer of high-temperature heat pumps from Norway, showcased at the webinar its novel HT-HP systems being developed under the SUSHEAT project. These innovative systems promise to revolutionize the technology by providing heating and cooling capacities of 400 kW to 800 kW, utilizing either steam or hot water with a supply temperature reaching 250°C. It’s worth noting that, as of now, no company has produced high-temperature heat pump systems with such capabilities and versatility in operation conditions.

If deployed on a large scale, this leading-edge technology holds immense potential to accelerate industrial decarbonisation.

“We have tested a heat pump with a steam generator for temperatures up to 200°C on the water output. A new tester for HTHP will be constructed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, enabling us to handle temperatures of up to 250°C,” Høeg explained.


Photo: Arne Høeg, Enerin’s CEO presents the High-Temperature Heat Pump (HT-HP) technology during the webinar. 

In addition to exploring innovative heat pump technology by Høeg, Alessia Del Vasto, Senior Policy Officer at EHPA, shed light on the broader policy framework supporting decarbonisation efforts.

“Momentum for heat pumps is gaining traction. They are recognized as a key technology for industrial decarbonisation under the EU Net-Zero Industry Act published in 2023,” highlighted Del Vasto. “They provide highly efficient methods for harnessing renewable energy sources and recovering waste heat, particularly in sectors that have long relied on fossil fuels.”

However, despite these evident benefits, the heat pump sector grapples with various barriers. A significant hurdle in Europe’s journey towards widespread heat pump deployment is the existing regulatory framework, which poses challenges such as high electricity prices and initial uptake costs.

Addressing these challenges is paramount, as Del Vasto emphasized, “Reducing upfront costs and electricity prices is crucial to accelerating industrial heat pump deployment.” Additionally, challenges like complex integration into existing infrastructure, limited knowledge and trust in new technology, and the need for training and education also hinder the pace of heat pump adoption,” as Del Vasto pointed out.

Building on Del Vasto’s insights, Cordin Arpagaus, Senior Research Engineer at OST—Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, offered a detailed overview of the latest developments in the European industry. He confirmed the expanding global market for high-temperature heat pumps driven by high energy demand and decarbonisation efforts.

“Currently, 37% of the process heating demand in the European industry is met by low-temperature heat pumps with a maximum capacity to supply temperatures up to 180oC. There is a noticeable shift in demand towards high-temperature heat pumps capable of delivering temperatures above 200oC while maintaining a low GWP (global warming potential),” Arpagaus noted.


To meet this market demand, Enerin’s HoegTemp heat pump, which can deliver reliable and flexible industrial heat up to 200 °C (250 °C in the future), will undergo testing and validation under the SUSHEAT project in 2025. Several sectors, including the chemicals, paper, and food industries, have already been benefiting from Enerin’s high-temperature pumps, albeit at lower temperatures.

While addressing the growing demand for high-temperature heat pumps, companies like Pelagia are actively implementing innovative solutions to reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency. Pelagia, a leading producer of pelagic fish products and a partner of the SUSHEAT project, is one of the end-users of Enerin’s heat pumps in producing a wide range of products, from frozen fish to fish meal and fish oil.

“At Pelagia, our objective is not only to minimize costs and energy consumption in our fish meal factories but also to significantly reduce CO2 emissions,” explained Eirik Anfindsen Solberg, Pelagia’s Technical Manager.

“We are currently finalising the installation of an HT-HP system, which is set to decrease Pelagia’s annual CO2 emissions by 3,500 tonnes while improving energy efficiency,” Solberg concluded.”

The SUSHEAT project, uniting 14 partners specializing in energy, AI, equipment manufacturing, and academia, is geared towards enabling the practical application of its expected low-carbon heat solutions for commercial success.

The recording of this webinar is available here, and you can find the slides from the speakers here.

Watch the webinar recording

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