The Path to Drawdown: High-Efficiency Heat Pumps
Buildings and construction account for roughly 38% of global CO2 emissions and about 35% of total energy-use. More than one-third of that is for heating and cooling, which could cut energy use by up to 30-40%.
Heat pumps are the technology that can most effectively increase heating and cooling efficiency. Heat pumps extract heat from the air and transfer it inside-out for cooling, and outside-in for heating the building. The ground, air, or water can be the source of or outlet for that heat.
Heat pumps are a technology that’s well-understood, easy to adopt, and already in use around the world. They can supply indoor heating, cooling, and hot water, all from one integrated unit. With high efficiency, they can dramatically reduce building energy use. When paired with renewable energy sources, they can virtually eliminate all emissions from heating and cooling.
According to Project Drawdown, high-efficiency heat pumps need to keep growing mildly between now and mid-century to help achieve decarbonization:
- In 2018 high-efficiency heat pumps comprised 3% of the market for delivered heat globally
- To stay below 1.5°C of global warming, high-efficiency heat pumps need to grow enough to account for 4.3% of that market by 2060
- That’s 0.86% growth annually between 2018 and 2060
If they can grow at this rate, heat pumps can help avoid up to 9.3 gigatons of GHG emissions.
Trane Technologies (stock ticker: TT) designs, manufactures, sells and services a diverse portfolio of climate control products and services for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and transport solutions.
TT's Role in Drawdown
Trane offers a wide range of products and services (p. 5), from air conditioners, building management systems, heat pumps, and refrigeration systems.
When it comes to heat pumps for the residential market, Trane offers thirteen different models. The most energy efficient model offers an estimated energy saving of 60% compared to competitors’ systems.
They also provide commercial customers with building automation systems that optimize their HVAC equipment and lighting.
Also for commercial customers, Trane offers thermal energy storage that gives building owners load flexibility, advises strategies for renewable energy procurement and distributed renewable energy resources to help organizations to become independent from the traditional utility grid.
In all, Trane’s revenue from these and other products and services has grown steadily over the last few years, increasing by 3.38% annually since 2016.
TT: What We Like
Trane Technologies has been focused on enhancing the sustainability of their business and cutting their carbon footprint. In 2020, Trane achieved (p. 1) several sustainability targets compared to the 2019 baseline:
- They reduced 54,681 metric tons of CO2e from their operations
- Their products helped customers avoid 7.7 million metric tons of CO2e emissions
- They generated 39% of their electricity from renewable sources
On top of these landmarks, they’ve proactively set targets for 2030 (p. 1) to:
- Reduce customer carbon footprint by 1 gigaton, or 1 billion metric tons of CO2e
- Achieve carbon neutral operations
- Reach zero waste disposed of in landfills
- Achieve 10% absolute reduction in energy consumption