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Heat pump market sees rapid growth but falls short of net-zero targets

18 March 2022

A recent review of 2021 figures, collated by Carbon Brief, show heat pump sales growing to double-digits in countries such as Austria and China, but globally remains short of net-zero targets to embrace the low-carbon heating technology and limit global warming below 1.5C.

The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) expects market growth to have exceeded 25% in 2021, hitting 2 million units sold per year.

Likewise, in China, estimates of residential air-source heat pump sales in 2021 saw a market growth of 10%.

Although 2021 figures show promising growth in many countries, heat pumps sales remain short of the global figure required in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) net-zero pathway report.

Heat pumps operate at a much greater efficiency than other forms of heating and can run on an electric grid powered by low-carbon energy sources.

The data has been analysed from countries where figures were available by Jan Rosenow, principal and European programme director at the Regulatory Assistance Project, and Duncan Gibb, lead analyst on heating and buildings at REN21.

The analysis shows how greater policy support is needed to enable the deployment of heat pumps and make the most of their potential to reduce carbon emissions from heating our homes and workplaces.

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