‘Game changing’: SPIRIT project targets climate-friendly industrial heating 

A new EU project funded by Horizon Europe aims to make heat pumps the lead heating technology for industry by 2030.

SPIRIT Consortium, Kick-off meeting 20-21 September 2022, Petten (Netherlands)

Industry is responsible for over 25% of EU greenhouse gas emissions, and decarbonising it is key to achieving Europe’s climate goals. Industrial heating is a particular challenge due to the high temperatures needed by many industries.

The EU-funded SPIRIT project, which kicks off on 1 September 2022, will address this challenge.

It will do so by demonstrating three full-scale (0.7 – 4 MW) high-temperature (140°C -160°C) heat pump technologies (in Norway, Belgium and Czech Republic) in the food and paper industry. It will investigate how their technical and economic performance can be improved and it will show how waste heat can be used to produce steam, proving that a heat pump can supply 3 times as much heat as it consumes in energy. The project will also study the heat pump operational integration with solar thermal systems.

“Bringing heat pumps into the heart of European industry will be game changing”, commented Simon Spoelstra, Coordinator of the SPIRIT Project, “In the EU we need to cut net emissions by 55% by 2030, and be climate neutral by 2050. Decarbonising industrial heating through high-temperature heat pumps is central, and with the SPIRIT project we will start making this a reality.” 

The project will also look at innovative business models and contractual agreements, and how they can increase the impact of industrial heat pumps.

What’s more, the 17 project partners will spread awareness on the barriers and benefits of upgrading heat technology in industry, with a view to reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The project will be coordinated by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). The project partners, who come from eight different countries, represent everything from design to manufacturing and to research, bringing a wide range of expertise.

The ultimate goal of the project, which will run for 3.5 years, is to enable industrial heat pumps to become the reference technology for covering industrial heat demand for temperatures up to 160°C by 2030.

SPIRIT is a project funded through the EU Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 101069672.

For more information, you can contact Simon Spoelstra, Project Coordinator, TNO – simon.spoelstra@tno.nl or Ms Sonia Bianconi, Project Officer, EHPA – sonia.bianconi@ehpa.org