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Wil Sillen

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Sales of heat pumps are growing rapidly worldwide, but nowhere as fast as in Europe

By: Hidde Middelweerd

Global sales of heat pumps will increase by 11 percent by 2022, according to an analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA). In Europe, that percentage was much higher: 40 percent. Worldwide, 10 percent of all buildings are now heated with heat pumps.
It was the second year in a row that global heat pump sales grew by double digits. According to the IEA, this is partly due to the high gas prices, as a result of which governments stimulated the switch to more sustainable forms of heating in various ways.

New markets for heat pumps
Currently, heat pumps provide heating for about 10 percent of the world's buildings. An important side note: in many households, heat pumps are mainly used as an additional heat source or mainly for cooling.

If we want to meet the energy and climate goals that have been set worldwide, there is still work to be done, says the IEA. By 2030, heat pumps must be able to meet at least 20 percent of global heating demand. The good news: if sales continue to grow as they do now, that target will be achieved.

To guarantee that growth in the coming years, it is important that 'new' markets are tapped. Currently, heat pumps are mainly installed in new buildings and existing single-family homes. For the time being, they are rarely installed in apartment complexes and companies. According to the IEA, the focus should shift to this in the coming years.

Record number of heat pumps in Europe
Europe had a record year, with an increase of no less than 40 percent. Nearly 3 million heat pumps were sold. Sales of air-water heat pumps in particular rose rapidly, by 50 percent. Italy, France and Germany were the frontrunners; there, almost half of all heat pumps sold in Europe went over the counter.

In the Netherlands, more than 123,000 heat pumps were sold in 2022: an explosive increase of 80 percent compared to 2021.

Bad for the Environment?
Earlier this year there was quite a fuss about the environmental impact of heat pumps. Research by the National Environmental Database Foundation (NMD) showed that this is much higher than previously thought. Despite that, it is still a sustainable choice to switch to a heat pump, says Milieu Centraal.
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