A Building Electrification Roadmap to Promote Decarbonization
Building electrification is a great idea to promote decarbonization, but is the industry ready for it? The Building Electrification Technology Roadmap from the New Buildings Institute (NBI) suggests the answer is yes.
The report examines the status of 38 different technologies for residential, commercial, and institutional applications. Although its focus is on California, the report assesses technology availability throughout North America for the following end uses:
- Space heating—Heat pumps are a mature technology, well known and widely available. Roadblocks include cold-climate underperformance.
- Water heating—Heat-pump water heaters are widely available for some applications. Barriers include the difficulty of retrofit installations.
- Cooking—Induction appliances are viable and available for both residential and commercial kitchens. The major sticking point is the consumer and chef preference for gas.
- Clothes drying—Both heat-pump and condensing dryers are available for residential use, but commercial products lag.
Given its emphasis on heat pumps, the report addresses the issue of current refrigerants, which have high global warming potential (GWP). “Despite these challenges, moving from gas technology to heat pumps containing HFC refrigerants remains a smart and critical step toward building electrification and decarbonization,” the report authors claim. This is because emissions from heat pumps can be less than those from combustion technologies. “As more mid-to-low-GWP products become available, heat pumps will become even more attractive.”
More on building electrification
For more information:
New Buildings Institute
Melton, P. (2021, February 17). A Building Electrification Roadmap to Promote Decarbonization. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/building-electrification-roadmap-promote-decarbonization