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Energy Efficiency

Cologne to Get Germany’s Largest Heat Pump

German power company Rheinenergie has announced plans to construct a heat pump with a capacity of 150 megawatt – making it the largest facility in Germany and Europe.

The new facility will use heat energy from the Rhine River to produce “green” heat that will feed into the district heating network of the western German city of Cologne. The heat generated will be enough to service some 30,000 homes and represents an increase of the capacity of Rheinenergie’s district heating network of 15 percent. 

Construction is set to start in early 2024, with the facility becoming operational in early 2027. 

Rheinenergie also plans to connect the facility to super-regional hydrogen networks that are also currently under construction. 

“Heat networks are going to play a huge part in how Germany heats its communities as it rapidly decarbonizes,” says Germany Trade & Invest heat pump expert Rob Compton. “Existing heat networks are usually fed by combined heat and power plants burning gas or even coal, and obviously that is going to change. Large-scale heat pumps and the many new networks being built will deliver carbon-free heat to buildings. We are seeing ever more innovative projects announced, and we certainly expect this to expand in the coming years.”

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