China sold the most heat pumps in the world in 2022, but Europe saw the largest increase in total sales, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that Italy, France and Germany accounted for almost half of all sales in Europe, noting that air-to-water heat pumps were the most popular technology.
“This corresponds to more than 100 million households, which means that one in ten households with significant heating needs today has a heat pump,” the IEA said. “However, many more households use heat pumps only for part of the winter or as additional heating in areas where they are mainly used to cool buildings.”
Sales of heat pumps across Europe increased by 49% from the previous year in 2022. Last year, almost 3 million heat pumps were sold. Air-to-water devices became more popular in Germany and Poland, and air-to-air units appeared e.g. the most popular technology in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as in Southern Europe. Italy, France and Germany accounted for almost half of European sales, while the markets of Poland and the Czech Republic will double in 2022, according to the IEA.
Hybrid systems combining heat pumps and gas boilers were reportedly a popular choice in Italy, accounting for more than 40% of sales in the air-to-water segment in 2022. Although ground- and water-based heat pumps are the most efficient technologies according to the IEA, they are also the most expensive and account for European sales are less than 10 percent.
Heat pumps outsold fossil fuel boilers in French buildings for the first time in 2022, when France introduced a national ban on gas boilers in new buildings. In the United States, heat pumps will overtake sales of gas furnaces in 2022 after years of almost flat growth.
“Heat pump installations continue to be concentrated in new builds and existing detached houses,” the IEA said. “Residential buildings and commercial premises should be a priority if stable growth continues.”
According to the IEA, China manufactures about 40 percent of the world’s heat pumps. The country is the largest producer and exporter of technology, most of which is exported to Europe.
The agency stated that the continued growth in the use of heat pumps requires safe and flexible supply chains. The top five global manufacturers are said to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region. The shale supply chains are currently particularly thin, the IEA said.
The agency added that large industrial heat pumps and district heating play a decisive role in reducing heat carbon dioxide. It noted that additional market statistics are critical to expanding adoption.