Electric cars and heating already have lower carbon footprint

An air source heat pump nestled in a nook.

Enlarge / An air source
heat pump nestled in a nook. (credit: 51% Studios
Architecture
)

One peppy slogan for the energy revolution is to “electrify
everything”—to replace fossil fuel applications with electrical
devices that can be powered by a clean grid. Of course, most grids
are nowhere close to emissions-free, and this can complicate the
impact of electrification. With the electricity available to you,
is it definitely the case that any electric car, for example, will
produce fewer emissions than an efficient gas-powered vehicle?

While that question can be frustrating for a consumer, it could
be even thornier for policymakers. If grids have to get cleaner for
the “electrify everything” strategy to be beneficial, programs
encouraging things like EVs might not have the intended effect. To
provide clearer answers to this question, a team led by
Florian Knobloch
at Radboud University did the math to find out
how green EVs and heat pumps for home heating are in different
countries.

Pump up the heat

If you’re not familiar, heat pumps work on the same basic
principle as an air conditioner—using refrigerant coils to dump
heat from one side to the other. But instead of just dumping heat
from your house into the outside air like an air conditioner does,
these can also run in the other direction, dumping heat energy from
the outside air (or ground) into your home—even at low outside
temperatures. This process is extremely energy-efficient, even
compared to high-efficiency gas furnaces.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Electric cars and heating already have lower carbon footprint