Heat pump market trends and developments: joining the dots.  

23 Mar 2024

Photo: Unsplash

Understanding the latest trends in the heat pump sector is essential for manufacturers, policymakers, and consumers. Tracking technological developments, regulatory changes, and pricing dynamics allows the industry to plan and adapt as needed. It also means producers can improve the quality of their products and foster innovation, decision-makers to plan long-term and consumers to make informed decisions and better understand the technology

To shed more light on the latest market tendencies, EHPA organised a webinar on 21 March, entitled, ‘Market Trends and Developments of the Renewable Heating and Cooling Sector’. The webinar was part of the EU-funded project ‘European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling’ (RHC-ETIP).  

The online event brought together three experts from the clean heating and cooling sector:  Christoph Brunner – CEO of AEE INTEC Austria; Neil Turley – Managing and Engineering Director at Netgreen.eu OU and Netgreensolar Ltd and Andrea Voigt – Vice President and Head of Global Public Affairs and Sustainability at Danfoss Climate Solutions. The panellists had the chance to present and to answer the audience’s questions.  

One of the biggest trends in the market is heat pumps’ growing role in industrial decarbonisation, said Christoph Brunner.  

There are three major areas to consider when it comes to industrial decarbonisation: energy supply, industrial processes and circular economy. Heat pumps – which are highly efficient, can be powered through renewable electricity and can recover waste heat – are crucial in all three” he explained.  

Other trends include the integration of digital tools into heat pump systems and the increase of solar-thermal energy supply for heat pumps, concluded Brunner.  

He was echoed by Neil Turley, who explained how the rooftop photovoltaic and heat pump combination has become increasingly common, especially in Mediterranean regions.  

However, if Europe wants to scale up heat pump installations, as laid out in REPowerEU, it must confront the elephant in the room – its old building stock – Turley noted.  

Retrofits can be challenging. Building codes are different throughout Europe, some local grid infrastructures are obsolete and, often, there is a poor understanding of building services and heat pump integration designed. Governments should use a ‘stick and carrot’ approach, issuing standards and regulations in combination with subsidies to support consumers,” said Turley.  

To put it in the words of Andrea Voigt, who took the floor for the last presentation: “If you talk about building renovations, it is impossible not to mention the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).”  

Recently adopted by the European Parliament, the directive requires EU states to incentivise renovations and make buildings zero-emission by 2050. It also establishes a timeline to phase out fossil fuel boilers and fossil fuel subsidies.  

Decarbonising our buildings is a massive task, therefore we need to break down the silos. We need more synergy between the heat pump and the district heating and cooling sectors, for instance. Consumers must be aware that renewable solutions are also energy-efficient and governments that energy and climate policies are actually complementary,” explained Voigt.   

Some cities, like Sonderborg in Denmark, are already implementing this holistic approach through public-private partnerships. If Sonderborg is doing it, then your city can probably do it too!” she said. 

Download the slides or watch the full conversation to learn more.  

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