Heat pump 'barometer' for 2014 has been published

22.12.2015
If reversible air-air heat pumps, which are used primarily for cooling, are left out of the equation, then the European heat pump market is clearly dominated by Scandinavia. (Illustration: EurObserv'ER)
If reversible air-air heat pumps, which are used primarily for cooling, are left out of the equation, then the European heat pump market is clearly dominated by Scandinavia. (Illustration: EurObserv'ER)

The year 2015 is almost over, and the EurObserv'ER report for the European heat pump market in 2014 has finally been released. Developments on the continent vary widely. Sales of air-water heat pumps are booming, but geothermal is still in decline.

The gap between European countries with healthy heat pump markets and countries where they play no role at all could hardly be more pronounced. The Scandinavian heat pump market in particular has grown to a healthy size and has been stable for a long time. The sales figures for Sweden reflect this. Approximately 95,000 heat pumps were sold there in 2014 as well as in the two previous years.

Other countries, however, are nowhere near achieving similar numbers, especially if the sales figures are seen in relation to the size of the country. Germany has a population of more than 80 million, but less than 60,000 heat pumps were sold there during the same year. Sweden, by comparison, only has 9.5 million inhabitants.

The number of air-water heat pumps is increasing

As in many other EU countries, the market in Germany is shifting away from geothermal heat pumps and towards air-water heat pumps. In general, the EurObserv'ER report sees positive prospects in Germany, and this is mainly due to the reform of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), which focuses more strongly on heat pumps in new buildings.

The shift from geothermal to air heat pumps can also be seen in France. Air-water heat pumps are currently booming there. Sales have risen by almost 30% to approximately 70,000 units. Geothermal, on the other hand, lost even more ground than in Germany. In 2014, sales fell by 19% to just 3,250 geothermal heat pumps.

Geothermal heat pumps are in a slump throughout Europe

A more or less strong trend towards air-water heat pumps can be observed almost everywhere in Europe. There are a few markets that are seeing an increase in sales of geothermal heat pumps, but they tend to be small and the increase in sales is weak. One example is the UK, where sales of geothermal heat pumps rose from 1,976 to 2,190.

Overall, sales of air-water heat pumps in Europe rose by more than 10% to approximately 188,500 units, but sales of geothermal heat pumps fell from almost 89,000 to approximately 83,000 units.

Reversible air-air heat pumps are an exception. They are mainly used in Italy and southern France for cooling and only provide heating for buildings during short periods in the winter. Approximately 1.4 million units were sold, which by far exceeds the number of heating and domestic hot water heat pumps. Nevertheless, there was also a sharp decline in this area.

Jan Gesthuizen