European heat pump market
The company is in the final stages of publishing a comprehensive study on Eco-related Developments in the Domestic Heating Markets in Europe and the USA 2006/7 or simply the Eco Study.
The study will provide a clear overview and analyses of the ‘environmental friendly’ heating technologies across Europe (with a comparison to the US market).
The term heat pumps can be used for a number of related technologies, though depending on the country they are all referred to simply as heat pumps. In this article heat pumps are referred to as heat pumps that drive hydronic (wet system) space heating.
The increasing impact of heat pumps on the European heating market is undeniable. In 1990 it represented 0.5% of the overall European boiler market. In 2006 the figure was closer to 4%. But the pattern of development varies greatly among countries.
In 2006 the market was concentrated mainly in the Nordic countries, the German speaking countries and France
• the first looks at the heat pump market per country end usage (in particular new construction vs. existing dwellings);
• the second looks at heat pumps in the context of specific European countries or regions, with reference to climatic, legislative and cultural differences and with a specific focus on how legislation and public subsidies have been (and are) shaping the various markets;
• the third is a comparison of developments and dynamics across Europe, and it broadly relates them to the current situation in the US heating market.
Heat pump categories
Looking at the top 10 European heat pump markets, ground source accounts for 44% of the market, outside air-water for 37%, exhaust air-water for 11% and water heating for only 8%.
As can be seen from the graph there is a great deal of diversity as to which types of heat pump are favoured by individual countries. Ground source heat pumps have their stronghold in the colder northern countries. Outside air-water heat pumps are reportedly the fastest growing market, while exhaust air-water is mainly sold in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark).
It is currently too early to determine whether water-heating heat pumps will decline relative to the total market as growth for this product has been seen in both Germany and Austria.
As already mentioned, heat pumps in general cover a number of products; the main product not mentioned in this article is air-air heat pumps. This product has already gained a significant market volume worldwide, with annual sales above 1 million pieces in the USA alone.
Generally, air-air heat pumps are associated with reversible air conditioning. However, in the Nordic countries they do compete with the space heating technologies. Indeed, in the Nordic countries the market volume of air-air heat pumps is already larger than the hydronic heat pump market.
In Europe the main competition between the two markets is expected to occur in countries with a significant dry electric heating park such as France and Sweden and in countries with low heating demand such as the Mediterranean countries.