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‘Energy crisis to boost sale of heat pumps’

The heat pump market has been growing strong in recent years, due to falling prices and incentives.  (Mint)Premium
The heat pump market has been growing strong in recent years, due to falling prices and incentives. (Mint)

  • Heat pumps are hyper-efficient and climate-friendly, and help consumers to save money on bills, and enable countries to reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, IEA said in the first comprehensive global outlook titled, Future of Heat Pumps

NEW DELHI : Global sales of heat pumps are set to rise to record levels, with the energy crisis accelerating adoption, a special report published on Wednesday by International Energy Agency (IEA) showed.

However, so far most buildings around the world, including homes, offices, schools and factories depend on fossil fuel, particularly natural gas to heat the premises.

Heat pumps are hyper-efficient and climate-friendly, and help consumers to save money on bills, and enable countries to reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, IEA said in the first comprehensive global outlook titled, Future of Heat Pumps.

The heat pump market has been growing strong in recent years, due to falling prices and incentives. Global heat pump sales rose by nearly 15% in 2021 at double the average growth rate of the past decade, led by the European Union, rising by around 35%.

“Sales in 2022 are set to hit record levels in response to the global energy crisis, especially in Europe where some countries are seeing sales double in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period of 2021," the report said.

Annual sales of heat pumps in the EU could rise to 7 million by 2030, up from 2 million in 2021, if governments succeed in achieving their emission reduction and energy security goals.

Heating buildings accounts for one-third of EU gas demand. Heat pumps acn reduce that demand by nearly 7 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2025, roughly equal to the natural gas supplied via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline in 2021. This annual gas saving would grow to at least 21 bcm by 2030 if EU climate targets are met.

“Heat pumps are indispensable to any plan of cutting emissions and natural gas use, and an urgent priority in the EU today," said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director.

“The technology is tried and tested, even in the coldest of climates. Policy makers should be putting their weight behind this technology that is witnessing unprecedented momentum. Heat pumps will be central to efforts to ensure everyone can heat their homes this winter and next, to protect vulnerable households and businesses from high prices, and to meet climate objectives."

Heat pumps cost less over their lifetimes than fossil fuel boilers, thanks to their higher efficiency. At today’s energy prices, annual energy bill savings for households switching to heat pumps can range from $300 in US to $900 in Europe.

Government policy support is needed, though, to help consumers overcome heat pumps’ higher upfront costs relative to alternatives. The cost of purchasing and installing a heat pump can be two-four times as much as those for a gas boiler. Financial incentives for heat pumps are available in over 30 countries, together covering over 70% of heating demand today. Many of them also provide additional support to low-income households as energy savings from a heat pump can be significant, or 2-6% of the household incomes.

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