An Overview Of Heat Pumps
Heat pumps use ambient heat from natural sources, specifically the air, ground or water, to heat buildings and provide hot water. Electricity is only used as a supplement rather than the primary energy source. The main advantage is that heat pumps produce more heat than they consume electricity, making them highly energy-efficient.
Most of the energy heat pumps use to heat houses comes from the air, ground or water (depending on the system). Electricity supplements this heating to ensure consistent temperatures throughout a building, but the primary energy source is naturally occurring. As the technology improves and fossil fuel price fluctuations continue to disrupt markets, heat pumps are expected to become the cheapest, lowest carbon form of heating available.
Headline Heat Pump Statistics (updated for October 2023)
- Based on 2021 electricity generation figures, more than 80% of global space and water heating demand could be met with lower CO2 emissions by using heat pumps rather than condensing gas boilers. In 2010, the potential coverage was 50%.
- Heat pumps accounted for just 10% of global heating equipment sales in 2021 – for comparison, fossil fuel equipment accounted for 45%.
- If sales rates continue at their current rate, heat pumps will provide around 20% of global heating needs by 2030, with around 600 million units in operation.
- In 2021, around 190 million heat pumps were in operation globally.
- Between 2020-2021, global heat pump sales increased by 13%.
- Investments in heat pump increased by 25% in 2021.
- Between 70 and 80% of energy provided by an average heat pump is renewable.
- There are currently around 20 million heat pumps installed in Europe.
- Conventional air conditioning is responsible for 3.94% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Heat Pump Adoption Rates
Based on recent sales figures, by 2030, there will be an estimated 253 million heat pump systems installed globally. Net zero scenarios require 600 million operational units by 2030. There is a shortfall of 58% if adoption continues at the current rate.
- European Union heat pump sales grew by around 35% between 2020-2021, translating to more than 2.2 million units starting operation. The largest heat pump markets in the EU are France, Italy and Germany.
- 94% of installed air source heat pumps, with just 6% drawing energy from the ground or water.
- As of April 2023, there are an average of 3068 heat pumps per 100,000 people in Europe.
- In 2020, 33% of operational heat pumps were located in China. 23% were located in North America, and the EU accounted for 12%.
- Air-to-air heat pump sales in Finland increased by 120% in 2022.
- The total volume of heat pumps in Finland increased by 90% in 2022.
- Heat pumps can last around twice as long as a boiler.
- To achieve Net Zero scenarios by 2050, there needs to be an increase in investments in heat pump technology – rising to $160 billion annually by 2030.
- Manufacturers planning to invest around $4 billion in expanding heat pump production capacity. Most of the investment is centred in Europe.
- Heat pump installations between 2021-2025 are estimated to be roughly equal to the number of heat pumps installed in the last decade.
- Between 2020-2021, heat pump sales in Poland increased by 66%.
– In the same period, Italy’s heat pump sales grew 63%.
– Heat pump sales in France grew 36%.
What is the market forecast for heat pumps?
The heat pump market is forecast to have strong growth over the next few years. In 2022, the global heat pump market size was estimated at $81.58 billion. Over the next 6 years (until 2030), the global market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%.
Will heat pumps be the future?
Heat pumps are becoming more popular. This trend is likely to continue, especially as energy bills remain high. Governments around the world are starting to introduce policies that increase the adoption rate of energy-efficient heating – heat pumps form an important part of these policies. For instance, the UK Energy Security Bill has provisions for grants and schemes that encourage heat pump installations.
Heat Pumps and Global Warming
Buildings are responsible for more than 40% of the energy we use, as well as over a third (28%) of global emissions. Global warming and climate change are real threats to society – reducing energy use and emissions are paramount to limiting global average temperature rises to 1.5°C.
- Conventional air conditioning accounts for nearly 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Over a sixth of global natural gas demand is for heating buildings – in the EU, this rises to a third of total natural gas demand.
- Heating in buildings is responsible for 10% of global emissions.
- Between 70% to 80% of the energy provided by an average heat pump is renewable.
- Heat pumps using modern refrigerants can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to a gas boiler.
- For countries using electricity from ‘clean’ sources, this can rise to up to 80%.
UK Heat Pump Statistics
The UK has fewer heat pumps as a proportion of the population compared to the EU. New policies like the Energy Security Bill aim to incentivise people to make the switch and massively increase the number of heat pumps. In addition, declining North Sea gas production means the UK will need to import 60% more of its gas by 2035, making the need for greater energy security and alternative heating solutions all the more urgent.
- The UK currently has just 412 heat pumps per 100,000 people.
- The UK heat pump market nearly doubled in 2021.
- 55,000 heat pumps were sold in the UK in 2022 – in comparison, more than 620,000 were sold in France.
- 21 European countries had higher heat pump installation rates than the UK in 2022.
- The UK plans to roll out 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
- Increasing the rate of heat pump adoption in the UK could create up to 55,000 new jobs – there are currently around 2000 jobs in the industry.
- Between 2021-2022, heat pump sales increased by 40%, equating to over 17,000 more heat pumps installed compared to 2021.
How many people in the UK have heat pumps?
The UK has around 412 heat pumps per 100,000 people, compared to a European average of 3068 heat pumps per 100,000 people. While the current uptake of heat pumps is low for the population in the UK, the government has plans to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028, as part of its Energy Security Bill.
What is the Energy Security Bill?
The Energy Security Bill aims to deliver cleaner energy to the UK by securing supply and investing in green solutions. The government hopes to drive £100 billion of private investment into British industries and create 480,000 ‘clean’ jobs by the end of the decade. As part of this, measures within the Bill set out the aim of increasing the heat pump adoption rate. Measures, including grants and stopping the installation of gas boilers in newly built properties from 2025, aim to encourage people to make the switch.
How many heat pumps does the UK government want to install?
The government wants to install around 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028.
How much gas is used to heat buildings in the UK?
Around half of the gas consumed in the UK is used in heating. Heat from buildings accounts for around 25% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.
EU Heat Pump Statistics
The EU aims to increase the number of heat pumps installed in member countries with its REPowerEU plan. The plan covers diversifying energy supplies, producing clean energy and reducing overall energy consumption.
- Europe currently has around 20 million heat pump units installed.
- Around 3 million heat pumps were sold in the EU in 2022.
- Heat pump sales in 2022 grew by 39%, more than in 2021 (34% increase on the previous year).
- France had the highest number of heat pump sales in 2022 in 21 European markets – 621,776 units sold. In comparison, the UK had sales of 55,168.
- Doubling the installation rate of heat pumps in the EU would reduce gas use by 2 billion cubic metres in the first year.
- EU Member States aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.
- Heat pumps in Europe helped the continent avoid 54 megatonnes of CO2 emissions in 2022.
- Heat pumps account for about 16% of residential and commercial building heating in Europe.
Which EU countries have the highest heat pump adoption rates?
The EU countries with the highest heat pump adoption rates are Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. In Norway, 60% of households have heat pumps installed, equating to around 1.4 million heat pumps. This is followed by Sweden with 43% of households, Finland with 41%, and Estonia with 34%.
How many heat pumps does the EU plan to install by 2030?
The EU plans to install nearly 60 million additional heat pumps by 2030. A series of measures in its REPowerEU plan are aimed at making heat pumps more attractive to Europeans. This includes doubling annual sales of heat pumps and encouraging people in member states to take advantage of reduced VAT rates for high-efficiency heating systems. In 2022, around 3 million heat pumps were sold. These heat pumps replace roughly 4 billion cubic metres of natural gas, and saves around 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
How much energy do buildings in the EU consume?
Buildings in the EU are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions.
How many heat pumps are installed in Europe?
Europe has around 20 million heat pumps installed. Of these, about 15.33 million are used for space heating. This means around 14% of Europe’s building stock is heated by heat pumps.
How much gas does the EU import from Russia?
The EU imported around 140 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia in 2021, along with 15 billion cubic metres of Liquified Natural Gas. Despite importing a total of 155 billion cubic metres of gas, Russian supply still only accounted for 40% of the EU’s total gas consumption for the year.
US Heat Pump Statistics
The United States heat pump market has steadily grown over the last few years. In 2022, more heat pumps were bought in the US than gas furnaces.
- The US states with the highest percentage of heat pumps are:
- South Carolina – 46% of homes. 910,000 units
- North Carolina – 42% of homes. 1.69 million units
- Alabama – 42% of homes. 800,000 units
- Tennessee – 39% of homes. 1.03 million units
- Florida – 32% of homes. 2.54 million units
- In 2022, Americans bought more heat pumps than gas furnaces. 2022 heat pumps sales in the US were 4.3 million. 2022 gas furnace sales were 3.9 million.
What is the US heat pump market valued at?
The US residential heat pump market was valued at $13 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% between 2021-2030. In 2020, air source heat pump sales were higher than gas furnaces for the first time.
Have US heat pump sales increased?
US Heat pump shipments have steadily increased over the last two decades. In 2001, 1.44 million air source heat pumps were shipped in the US. In 2021, 3.92 million air source heat pumps were shipped.
China Heat Pump Statistics
- Around 40% of all heat pumps are manufactured in China – the country is the largest manufacturer of heat pumps in the world, with the majority of exports being sold in Europe.
- Sales of air to water heat pumps increased by 20% in 2022.
- Over 1 million air-source heat pumps were sold in China in 2022.
How many heat pumps are installed in China?
58.4 million heat pumps were installed in China as of 2020. This equates to 33% of the world’s installed heat pumps. Air source heat pumps are the most popular type of pump in China; it’s the largest market for air source heat pumps, with sales increasing by 7% in 2021 and 12.5 million units in operation.
Ground Source Heat Pump Statistics
A ground source heat pump generates most of its energy from heat underground. Ground source heat pumps are a long-lasting heating solution. The heat pump lasts for around 20 years, while the underground pipes can last for around 70-100 years.
- A ground source heat pump could save a household up to £2500 on heating bills.
- However, it could also add up to £205 to annual heating bills, depending on the system the pump is replacing.
- Ground source heat pumps can heat water from the ground to around 50ºC. Raising the temperature higher than this requires more electricity and will affect efficiency.
- This type of heat pump can save between 2300kg-11,000kg of CO2 per year, depending on the type of heating system it replaces.
- They can cost around £24,000 if the loop is buried in trenches and up to £49,000 if a borehole needs to be dug.
- Ground source heat pumps have a Coefficient of Performance (CoP) of 4.8. The CoP is the ratio of heating performance compared to the energy needed. A higher CoP equates to a higher efficiency device, with lower power consumption and, therefore, cheaper energy. For comparison, a gas boiler has a CoP of around 0.93.
- Ground source heat pumps only account for 2.5% of installed pumps in the EU.
- Ground source heat pumps can produce 70% less carbon dioxide emissions than a gas boiler – if the supplied electricity comes from renewable sources, there are no carbon emissions.
- It’s estimated that every 100,000 homes with ground source heat pumps will reduce oil consumption by 2.15 million barrels per year.
How do ground source heat pumps work?
Ground source heat pumps work by transferring ambient heat from underground into a heating system. They utilise a network of buried water pipes (usually around 100m) in a loop. A mixture of water and anti-freeze is pumped through this loop, absorbing the heat that occurs naturally underground.
Using electricity, the water is then compressed and its temperature raised. A heat exchanger then extracts this heat and transfers it to the building’s heating system. Any remaining heat is stored in a hot water cylinder, which can then be used for showers or run through taps.
Air Source Heat Pump Statistics
There are two types of air source heat pump; air-to-air and air-to-water. By mainly using naturally occurring heat, these heat pumps are more environmentally friendly than gas or oil boilers and can save people money on heating bills by using less electricity.
- As of May 2023, air source heat pumps typically cost between £7000 and £13,000 to install.
- A standard air source heat pump can save the average 3-bedroom household in the UK up to £1500 on heating bills, depending on the system the pump replaces, or add up to £135.
- Air source heat pumps are the most popular type of heat pump, accounting for 60% of global sales in 2021.
- Air source heat pumps typically have an efficiency rating of 300%.
How do air source heat pumps work?
Air source heat pumps take heat from the outside air. In air-to-water pumps this heat is absorbed into a liquid. This liquid then passes through an electronic compressor, further raising the temperature. The heat is then transferred to the building’s heating system and can generate hot water. In air-to-air heat pumps, heat is taken from outside and passes through fans to heat the building. They can also work as air-conditioning units for cooling buildings down during summer months.
Water Source Heat Pump Statistics
Water source heat pumps take the ambient heat from a body of water, increase the temperature using electricity, and transfer that heat into a building’s heating system. Groundwater is an effective heat source as, even on cold days, it maintains a temperature between 7ºC and 12ºC.
- A water source heat pump has a CoP (see the ground source heat pumps section for more information) of around 6. For comparison, a gas boiler has a CoP of around 0.93.
- Water source heat pumps could save households between £395-£2000, depending on home type and which system it replaces.
- The water source heat pump market was worth $907.5 million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5% between 2022-2030.
- The global water source heat pump market is expected to be worth around $1.4 billion in 2030.
How do water source heat pumps work?
Water source heat pumps work by transferring heat from a body of water into a heating system. There are two types of water source heat pumps – open-loop and closed-loop systems.
In closed-looped systems, a mixture of water and antifreeze is piped through coils or heat exchange panels installed in a water source, such as a lake, pond or river. The mixture absorbs heat energy from the surrounding water and transfers this to the heat pump.
Open-loop systems pump water directly from the source to the heat pump. Once the heat energy has been extracted, the water is pumped back to the source.
In both systems, the energy from the water is transferred to the heat pump’s heat exchanger, where a refrigerant absorbs it. The refrigerant heats up, turning from liquid to gas, which is compressed to increase the temperature and sent through a second heat exchanger. The heat gets sent to the radiators and water within the building, providing heating and hot water.