LowUP – which stands for ‘Low valued energy sources UPgrading for buildings and industry uses’– will contribute to achieving Europe’s GHG reduction targets and increase energy efficiency. The project will develop and demonstrate three new efficient heating and cooling technologies that will significantly reduce both CO2 emissions and primary energy consumption.
Heating and cooling refers to the energy needed to warm and cool buildings, both residential and tertiary (i.e. office buildings, hospitals etc.) and includes the energy needed in nearly all industrial processes to manufacture products that we use every day. It accounts for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, of which 85% comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.
Led by the Spanish firm ACCIONA, LowUP gathers 12 partners (2 large companies, 3 research and technology organisations and 7 SMEs) from 7 European countries. During 42 months, the consortium will develop and demonstrate in a relevant environment one heating and one cooling system for office buildings, and one heat recovery system for industrial processes.
All three systems will combine innovative heat and cool recovery technologies fuelled by low valued energy sources, also known as low grade. These include both renewable (solar energy, ambient air and water network) and wasted energy sources (sewage waters and excess heat rejected from industrial processes). The use of low valued energy allows to produce heating and cooling at temperature close to room temperature. This reduces the total CO2 emissions for buildings and the energy demand as a result of more efficient energy conversion processes and systems.
Beyond these savings, results generated by LowUP may open new opportunities for the heating and cooling industry, create new jobs and reduce Europe’s dependency on imported energy. Market studies and exploitation strategies will be carried out to evaluate these benefits and maximise the impact of the technologies that will be developed and demonstrated.
LowUP is organized into five work packages.
– Development and engineering of LowUP systems 1 & 2 (heating and cooling systems in buildings).
– Design, installation, operation and validation in relevant environment (TRL-6) of all 3 LowUP systems.
– Realisation of all research and engineering works planned for the development of the LowUP Concept 3.
– Raise awareness and promote the project’s activities and exploit the actual results delivered through the project.
The EU context
The European Commission Work Programme for 2016-2017 is a key instrument to progress towards the European Energy Union, which provides EU consumers with secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy. Achieving this goal will require a fundamental transformation of the European energy system.
The EU’s energy policy has set ambitious objectives for 2020: a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, a 20% share of energy from renewable sources, and a 20% cut in CO2 emissions compared with 1990. For 2030 the objectives are even more ambitious: a 27% improvement in energy efficiency (to be reviewed), a 30% share of energy from renewables and a 40% cut in CO2 emissions.
Buildings contribute 40% of the EU’s final energy demand and offer a large untapped potential for energy savings, therefore buildings have an important role to play in achieving these goals. By developing new heating and cooling technologies for buildings, the LowUP project will:
- moderate the demand for heating and cooling
- increase energy efficiency in supply
- maximise the use of renewable energy and reduce the costs of heating and cooling in order to be affordable to all