The European Heat Pump Outlook 2021: 2 million heat pumps within reach

Today we are expecting the publication of the final parts of the fit-for-55 package by the European Commission. It is the end of a decisive year for the energy transition and the heat pump sector. The 2020 market was affected by the pandemic and saw only a modest 7% growth compared to 2019. In 2021, heat pump markets made a crucial recovery, growing across Europe at an unprecedented speed. Aggregated industry expert opinion hints at a market increase of more than 25% and a total sales volume exceeding 2 million units by the end of the year.


In a total heater market of 7 million units, heat pumps are representing more than 25% of annual sales. This is a great foundation for the necessary continued growth on the way to reaching the EUs energy and climate targets. Based on the Commission’s 2019 system integration strategy, more than 50 million heat pumps are needed by 2030. Sales in 2021 not only show that markets are on the right track, but also that the industry is delivering.

Heat pumps are fast becoming the standard solution for new buildings. Technology development in combination with smart renovation makes the direct replacement of heaters a feasible option also in the existing buildings. It cannot be repeated often enough: ‘heat pumps work in renovation’.

While the development is positive and we have all technologies available to decarbonise Europe’s buildings, policy attention and ambition is required to ensure continued growth: We need commitment to the electrification of heating including through the design of the electric grid and through setting a value on flexibility

We require a quick and effective correction of the distorted price mechanism for energy through a) the balancing of energy taxes, b) the introduction of a CO2 price, c) an announced phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and d) the introduction of a support infrastructure including targeted subsidies to help all Europeans to shift towards clean and low carbon heating.

Working in the heat pump sector is an opportunity, for those starting their careers and for those facing the need to change. We need a skills campaign ensuring that European citizens see working in the renewable energy sector as a meaningful opportunity and have easy access to the related education, training, and certification programs.

All end users should have the right to clean and affordable heating solutions, making them active partners in the energy transition, a transition that is not a burden, but a huge opportunity for Europe’s societies.


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