UK markets closed
  • NIKKEI 225

    -47.00 (-0.17%)

    +458.21 (+2.34%)

    -0.43 (-0.61%)

    -0.10 (-0.01%)
  • DOW

    +75.14 (+0.23%)
  • Bitcoin GBP

    +858.12 (+3.85%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +19.34 (+3.24%)
  • NASDAQ Composite

    +117.44 (+1.01%)
  • UK FTSE All Share

    -31.80 (-0.77%)

Heat pump sales in Europe jump to record high

FILE PHOTO: A view of the new river water large-scale heat pumps at energy supplier BTB, in Berlin

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Sales of heat pumps rose by well over a third in Europe to hit a record high last year, according to industry analysis published on Monday, after government support and soaring fossil fuel prices boosted uptake of the technology.

European Union policmakers are counting on pumps that suck in heat from the air, ground or water and use a refrigeration cycle to transform it into home heat as a means to reduce CO2 emissions and also to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels.

"We're going faster than what people had imagined," European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) Secretary General Thomas Nowak said, adding that concerns over component shortages and post-COVID market uncertainty had led some in the sector to underestimate its potential growth.

He said energy bills driven by Russia cutting gas deliveries to Europe had prompted more people to switch, while subsidies in countries including France and Poland also drove household purchases.

European heat pump sales totalled 3 million last year, the EHPA said, citing data from 21 countries including non-EU Britain and Norway, as well as EU members Finland, Germany, Italy and Poland.

That was a 37% jump from the 2.2 million sold in 2021 in the countries - 16 of which have reported 2022 data, and five of which had not. EHPA used 2021 sales for those countries and said the actual figures would likely be higher.

The increase takes the total number of heat pumps installed in Europe to around 20 million, heating around 16% of residential and commercial buildings, EHPA said.

Fossil fuel-based systems still dominated heating system installations, but record high gas prices, together with government subsidies, made the initial heat pump cost of upwards of 10,000 euros ($10,686) more palatable.

Once installed, running costs are typically lower than fossil fuel-based heating.

In Germany, heat pump sales jumped by 53% to 236,000 last year. But they were still exceeded by the 598,000 gas-based systems sold, the country's heating industry association said.

The EU has said countries should install a further 10 million air-to-water heat pumps if the bloc is to quit Russian gas by 2027. The EHPA said that goal appeared realistic, but countries needed to invest in training workers and bolstering supply chains for parts.

($1 = 0.9358 euros)

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by Barbara Lewis)