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The Big Switch

Part 4: Heat Pumps for Peace

This is the fourth episode of a five-part series exploring the European energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If you haven’t listened to the first three episodes, we recommend you start there. 

Inside Poland’s and Germany’s efforts to fight Russian aggression—and build a net-zero economy—by rapidly electrifying heating systems.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Germans and Poles installed heat pumps and residential solar panels to reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels. 

But do the countries have the skilled workforce they need to meet rapidly growing demand?

In this episode, we examine the role of these technologies in building the net-zero economy—and how supply chain problems and a shortage of trade workers has hindered the mobilization of clean technologies. 

Then, we look at the efforts to solve these bottlenecks with campaigns to recruit a new wave of electricians, engineers, and other craftspeople.