Sat 01-04-2023 16:54 PM
PARIS, 1st April, 2023 (WAM) — Global sales of heat pumps1 grew by 11% in 2022, according to the latest IEA analysis, marking a second year of double-digit growth for the central technology in the world’s transition to secure and sustainable heating.
Increased policy support and incentives for heat pumps in light of high natural gas prices and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were key drivers behind the strong uptake. In Europe, heat pumps enjoyed a record year, with sales growing by nearly 40%. In particular, sales of air-to-water models, which are compatible with typical radiators and underfloor heating systems, jumped by almost 50% in Europe. In the United States, heat pump purchases exceeded those of gas furnaces. However, in China, the world’s largest heat pump market, sales remained stable amidst a general slowdown of the economy.
Globally, heat pumps, when used as a main heating device, cover around 10% of heating needs in buildings today. This corresponds to over 100 million households, meaning that one in ten homes that require substantial heating are served by heat pumps today. However, many more households use heat pumps only part of the winter or as a supplementary source of heating in regions where they are mainly used for cooling buildings.
To align with all existing national energy and climate pledges worldwide, heat pumps will have to meet nearly 20% of global heating needs in buildings by 2030. The world is almost on track to reach this milestone if new installations continue to grow at a similar rate globally as they did the last two years. However, sales need to expand by well over 15% per year this decade if the world is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Installations of heat pumps remain concentrated in new buildings and existing single-family homes. Multistorey apartment buildings and commercial spaces will need to be a priority area if solid growth is to continue. Energy efficiency retrofits also need to accelerate to ensure that new heat pumps installed in existing buildings are as efficient as possible and not oversized. This will lower upfront and operating costs for consumers and reduce strains on power systems, especially if combined with smart controls for flexible operation.
Tariq Al Fahaam