Heating Pumps in Alaska and Beyond

Project leads: Erin Trochim, Research Assistant Professor, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Data scientist: Maddie Gaumer

DSSG fellows: Aminat Adefolu, Silas Gifford, Katherine Grisanzio, and Brian Leung. Get the participant bios here.

Decarbonization, a pressing global issue, necessitates the transition from carbon-intensive power to net-zero sources. The Arctic is an area of particular concern, where warming occurs at double the global rate and thermal energy, primarily fossil fuel-based, represents about 75% of energy consumption. Accurate estimation of heat pump potential, a key strategy in decarbonization pathways, requires a comprehensive understanding of their use and system redundancy considerations.

This project focuses on fine-tuning methods for assessing heat pump usage and potential in Alaska. Access to statewide building outlines, coupled with climate data, will inform current and future models. These models aim to estimate the annual heating efficiency of different heat pump units, enabling visualization of usage patterns. This analysis is essential in gauging both present and future heat pump utilization, providing critical insights for efficient decarbonization strategies.