The Current Status of Power-to-Heat Solutions: A Comprehensive Overview

Published by firstgreen on

As the world strives towards green energy transition, the importance of power-to-heat (P2H) solutions cannot be overstated.

This article delves into the global panorama of P2H systems, their application across sectors, and the countries leading in this domain.

Types of heating systems that use electricity

Key Facts About Power-to-Heat Solutions

P2H solutions are primarily designed to convert surplus electricity into heat which can be utilized for different purposes such as space heating, water heating, and industrial applications. This surplus electricity typically comes from renewable energy sources, turning an otherwise wasted resource into a valuable, utilizable commodity.

Top Regions for Power-to-Heat Implementations

Power-to-heat technologies have found adoption across the globe, with Canada, China, Japan, the United States, and several European countries like Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom leading the way.

1. Power-to-Heat in China

China has made significant strides in the utilization of P2H solutions, primarily due to its policies aimed at eliminating coal-fired boilers for heating. The country’s government offers subsidies to consumers to switch from coal-fired boilers to electricity-based heat pumps. For example, over 1 million air source heat pumps were sold in 2014 alone.

2. Power-to-Heat in Canada

In Canada, the government has committed USD 2.1 billion towards reducing emissions, which includes modernizing government-owned heating and cooling plants in the National Capital Region. Certain municipalities have also committed to meeting all power, heating, and transportation requirements through renewable energy sources by 2050.

3. Power-to-Heat in Europe

In Europe, Denmark is taking the lead in P2H solutions, investing significant capital in this arena. The governments across Europe, in general, are highly supportive of the adoption of P2H technologies.

Sectors Benefitting from Power-to-Heat Solutions

P2H solutions have found utility in both residential/commercial and industrial sectors.

1. Residential/Commercial Sectors

Air source and ground source heat pumps are widely used for space and water heating. The global sales of heat pumps have seen a robust growth rate, with an increase of nearly 10% between 2017 and 2018, double the growth rate seen in 2016-17.

2. Industrial Sectors

Industries are using heat pumps to capture waste heat for use in low-temperature applications. Key industries using heat pumps include paper and pulp, food and beverages, textiles, automotive, and chemicals.

Heat Pumps: A Pivotal Player in the Power-to-Heat Industry

Heat pumps play a vital role in the overall P2H infrastructure. Worldwide, they have seen a steady rise in sales, with 80% of household heat pump installations in 2017 recorded in China, Japan, and the United States. In the EU21 countries, 10.5 million units were installed in 2017, with a storage capacity of 368 GW and contributing to 116 TWh of renewable energy.

Future Trends: Expected Growth in Power-to-Heat Solutions

With a surge in environmental consciousness and the need to transition to renewable energy, the future for power-to-heat technologies looks bright. The yearly sales of heat pumps in Europe are expected to grow by 7-8%, signalling a positive outlook for the industry.


The current status of power-to-heat solutions worldwide is quite promising. With major economies investing heavily in this technology and its implementation spreading across multiple sectors, we’re witnessing an encouraging trend towards a greener, more sustainable future. As we continue to explore and harness the potential of power-to-heat technologies, they’re not only poised to play a pivotal role in global energy efficiency but also contribute significantly towards our collective goal of reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.