H2 and heat pumps: a dynamic duo to RepowerEU

Bosch illustrate how their multi-technology approach is helping Europe achieve its climate goals.
Bosch presenting the prototype of an H2 boiler | Source: Bosch

By Oliver Koukal

Oliver Koukal is Senior Vice President at Bosch Thermotechnology

01 Jun 2022

As Bosch, we invest in the future, and the philosophy of our founder Robert Bosch was to continually innovate. He said: “We should all strive to improve on the status quo: none of us should ever be satisfied with what they have achieved but should always endeavour to get better.”

This is why we’re investing heavily in heat-pumps and electrification of heating, with over 300 million euros earmarked by 2025. These will be needed if we are to achieve our RepowerEU objectives of 30 million installed heat pumps by 2030.

But we also think that innovation means improving existing products, based on more traditional processes, such as combustion-based boilers. Why does this make sense? Because future-proofing products means we provide sustainable heating, cooling, and well-being solutions to all types of customers and buildings across Europe while ensuring that their life gets smarter and better through an affordable and cost-effective product, which can decarbonise.

At Bosch Thermotechnology, we take future-proofing seriously. While our boilers can already run on renewable biomethane, made from waste and feedstock, we’re now looking at hydrogen as the next frontier. Indeed, our boilers are already certified to run on a blend of 20% hydrogen and methane, and we’ve been investing heavily for years in developing an H2-ready boiler, which can run on 100% hydrogen.

This future-proof boiler is being rolled-out in pilot projects across Europe, with projects showcasing this technology in the UK, the Netherlands and soon Germany, Belgium, and many other places. The fundamental purpose of our H2 boiler will be to anticipate the possible developments across countries and regions, along with consumption patterns. As we believe that Hydrogen will scale up over the coming years and decades — with Robert Bosch announcing €500m of investment into the electrolyser component manufacturing to support the H2-production ecosystem — we are convinced that providing solutions for all sectors and end-users is crucial at an early stage. As such, our H2-ready solution will allow for a stepwise approach for consumers who can run their boiler on methane or a 20% blend of hydrogen, before switching them to 100% hydrogen where and when it becomes available. Our fundamental purpose is to enable a seamless pathway to hydrogen for customers, with zero emissions on site.

“Our fundamental purpose is to enable a seamless pathway to hydrogen for customers, with zero emissions on site”

As we well know today, energy is scarce and should be saved to the best extent possible; here flexibility is key. To this end, we are focussing on ensuring that our boilers can also be set up as hybrid systems with heat-pumps to constantly use the most efficient solution across seasons and heating needs for the building.

By rolling-out a variety of solutions, whether power-based, hydrogen-based or (bio)methane based, we ensure that efficient technologies can help us quickly and decisively reduce our consumption and shift our energy system away from more polluting alternatives in a bid to 'repower the EU’. Only through this multi-technology approach, which includes fast-paced electrification and the combustion of renewable and low-carbon gases, will we be able to deliver on the objective of climate neutrality across Europe and make home comfort green.

This article reflects the views of the author and not the views of The Parliament Magazine or of the Dods Group

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