Buildings: heating and cooling equipment roadmap

At the request of the G8, IEA is developing a series of roadmaps for some of the most important technologies needed for achieving a global energy-related CO2 emissions target in 2050 of 50% below current levels. Energy-efficient Buildings: Heating and Cooling Equipment, published in May 2011, points out the following key technology options for heating and cooling with the greatest long-term potential for CO2 emissions reduction, namely: active solar thermal (AST), combined heat and power (CHP), heat pumps for cooling and space and water heating, thermal storage. These technologies could reduce building-related CO2 emissions by 2 Gt by 2050.
An emerging application for AST systems is solar thermal air conditioning. Two main technologies can use solar thermal collectors for air conditioning in buildings: thermally driven chillers and open cycles, also referred to as desiccant evaporative cooling systems.
The increased deployment of heat pumps for space and water heating, as well as the use of more efficient heat pumps for cooling account for 63% of the total heating and cooling energy savings.
To achieve this target, 3500 million heat pumps would need to be installed in the residential sector by 2050 worldwide, compared to an estimated 800 million units installed worldwide in 2010. Overall, the IEA assesses that public and private sector investment in research, development and demonstration (RD&D) for heating and cooling technologies needs to increase by USD 3.5 billion per year above today’s levels by 2030. RD&D should focus on reducing system costs and improving performance as well as optimizing existing technologies for all heating and cooling applications and market segments. Regarding heat pumps, improvement in COPs should be 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030.