Europe can meet REPowerEU heat pump target if barriers are tackled
Simply by following business as usual, European countries can add around 43.2 million heating and hot water pumps in the next eight years, on top of the current 20 million installed, new projections from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) reveal.
This will be much higher still if the right conditions are in place, as outlined in the Heat Pump Accelerator.
If the current barriers are not tackled, the total heat pump stock will be close to 60 million units (since some of the ‘new’ heat pumps will be replacing older ones) by the end of 2030. These will provide about half of Europe’s buildings with renewable heating. They will also provide renewable cooling.
The calculations are based on aggregated expert guidance from EHPA’s national member associations. See more on EHPA’s market data.
Even with business as usual, the number of Europeans benefitting from clean heat could even be higher, as heat pumps in district heating are seeing a steep increase in demand, but current statistics do not yet properly reflect their value. The increase in heat pumps by 2030 will also bring stability to Europe’s electric grid and contribute to cleaner air for all Europeans.
REPowerEU requires 60 million additional heat pumps between 2023 and 2030. This target can be met if the barriers faced by the sector, like the fact that the playing field is still tipped massively in favour of fossil fuels in terms of subsidies and taxation, are addressed.
According to Thomas Nowak, Secretary-General at the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) “Heat pump roll-out is happening, but to decarbonise heating and cooling governments should create a more ambitious framework that makes clean heating most affordable for all. Distorted pricing that favours gas over electricity should be correctedto encourage more end users to switch to clean solutions and reward them with lower heating bills. The electricity price should be no more than double the price of gas.”
In terms of countries, with the business as usual scenario, by 2030 the European leader will be France with over 8 million additional heating and hot-water heat pumps installed, followed by Germany and Italy.
Apart from Poland, the main expected growth is in western Europe. More countries need to show higher ambition and act to trigger faster change.
Last month, EHPA and the European Climate Foundation launched a ‘EU heat pump accelerator’ paper, with over 20 contributing organisations, and handed it to the European Commission. This accelerator identifies the barriers and solutions to faster heat pump roll-out. It will input into the Commission’s upcoming heat pump action plan, due by the end of 2023.
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