The just over 3 million heat pumps added last year bring the total stock of heat pumps to around 20 million. These avoid 52.5 Megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year - about the annual total of Greece.
“2022 was an outstanding year for European heat pump sales” said Thomas Nowak, secretary general of the European Heat Pump Association. “The foundation is laid for continued exceptional growth and with it the benefits heat pumps bring in terms of climate action, energy independence and jobs. This is without a doubt the decade of heat pumps.”
France, which yet again saw strong heat pump growth last year, is leading the way in terms of avoided greenhouse gas emissions through heat pumps, at well over 16 Mt. It is followed some way behind by Germany and Italy at over 5 Mt avoided each.
If things were to stay this way, the buildings sector would be off track to decarbonise heating and cooling by 2050, as the EU climate law requires. This is because the playing field is still tipped massively in favour of fossil fuels, in terms of subsidies and taxation. However, the issue is very likely to be addressed soon by the European Commission in their upcoming EU Heat Pump Action Plan, which should help make the situation fairer for clean solutions.
“Heat pumps have a leading role to play to reach net zero emissions, but to bring them centre stage governments must give clear policy signals” added Jozefien Vanbecelaere, head of EU affairs at EHPA. “They can do this by addressing distorted pricing which favours gas over electricity, and supporting the EU Commission’s proposed phase out of stand-alone fossil fuel boiler.”
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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