Heat pumps on the rise

30.06.2016
Although heap pumps showed an upward trend in 2015, they need to be openly supported by policy makers to reassure consumers and investors, EHPA demands. (Photo: Glen Dimplex)
Although heap pumps showed an upward trend in 2015, they need to be openly supported by policy makers to reassure consumers and investors, EHPA demands. (Photo: Glen Dimplex)

The latest figures released by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) showed that in 2015, the European heat pump market grew by 10%, resulting in a record year with 880179 units sold contributing to 24 megatons of CO2 emission savings and the creation of 47103 full time jobs.

The growth in the European heat pump market is mainly driven by the strong segment of air-sourced heat pumps, a renewable technology that finds increasing attention in European and national statistics, according to EPHA. Geographically, most of the growth can be attributed to increased sales in the Mediterranean countries Spain (+15%), Italy (+20%) and France (+8%).

“These figures could increase further in these countries if an appropriate framework would be set at EU level to account for renewable cooling”, commented Pascal Westring, EHPA expert in statistics. This issue is addressed by the Commission this year, with the Heating & Cooling Strategy and revision of the Renewable Energy Directive.

Technology-neutrality is the wrong answer

Looking at the sales potential EHPA states that if European markets would reach the same maturity level as the Swedish one, the European heat pump stock could realistically grow to 60 million units, enough to replace today’s imported Russian gas for heating purposes.

Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of EHPA, declared that interest in heat pump technology is on the rise across Europe. He reported that a growing number of experts conclude that decarbonisation of the heating sector is impossible without heat pumps and that civil society is also turning to the technology. “Yet, EU policy-makers prefer to remain technology-neutral. Instead, they should create framework conditions that favor the most efficient and best performing technologies”, he requested.

“Heat pumps are the perfect system integration technology for a resilient Energy Union. They are a bridge between the electricity and the thermal sector, between heating and cooling. They can be combined with residual heat, district heating, cogeneration and other RES solutions”, Nowak added.

EHPA represents the majority of the European heat pump industry. It has currently 119 members from all parts of the industry's value chain: heat pump and component manufacturers, research institutes, universities, testing labs and energy agencies.

Silke Funke / EHPA