How the energy crisis is boosting heat pumps in Europe
Heat pumps are widely seen as the most important technology when it comes to decarbonising heating. They will provide most of our heating needs in the future, on the path to net-zero emissions.
Significant growth in Heat Pump sales
In recent years, Heat Pump sales have started to take off and experienced double-digit growth in 2021. Since then, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy crisis have boosted installations in Europe even further, to unprecedented new highs. For the first time in 2022, heat pump sales in Europe reached 3 million, up 0.8 million (38%) from a year earlier and doubling since 2019. Sales doubled in a single year in Poland, Czech Republic and Belgium.
One main driver is cost: gas and oil prices skyrocketed in 2022 and even though electricity prices also increased sharply in many countries, running costs tipped in favour of heat pumps.
With further policy changes likely to continue supporting the rollout of heat pumps, the market is expected to continue growing strongly.
Initial figures for Europe show that 3 million heat pumps were installed in 2022, up 38% year-on-year. This builds on a 34% increase in 2021, which was, in turn, much higher than the previous norm of around 10% per year.
Geographical distribution of sales
It is interesting to look at the geographical distribution of sales. The shift to heat pumps is not just happening in warmer countries. On the contrary, the highest penetration of heat pumps can be found in the coldest climates
In Europe, the four countries with the highest number of installations of heat pumps per 1,000 households in 2022 are Finland, Norway, Sweden and Estonia. These four countries also face the coldest winters in Europe.
This dispels the common myth that heat pumps are unable to work in cold climates. Although heat pumps are less efficient when it is coldest, performance does not suffer drastically.