The International Energy Agency, IEA, identifies heat pumps as an important technology in the necessary energy system transition. But, according to IEA’s overview Tracking Clean Energy Progress, heat pumps are not on track regarding marke tpenetration, costs and performance.
Market penetration. Globally, heat pumps provide only 3% of heating in buildings. The sales increased with almost 10% last year, most of this in China, Japan and the United States. But this is not enough. The heating share from heat pumps has to triple until 2030, something that will not happen at current growth rates.
Costs. Especially geothermal heat pump technologies suffer from high up-front costs. This should be addressed to increase the attractiveness of heat pumps. The energy pricing also needs to be looked into, so that heat pumps can financially compete with fossil fuel alternatives.
Performance. According to IEA, the average energy performance of heat pumps needs to increase by 50%. This should be within reach, as that corresponds to best available technologies today. As a higher efficiency is more difficult to reach in colder temperatures, that should be a focus for development.
Getting heat pumps on track regarding clean energy progress could vastly reduce CO2
emissions globally. For this to happen, efforts have to be made both from policy makers and the industry itself.
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