The International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates in a new report that the number of heat pumps installed in buildings worldwide will increase from 180 million units in 2020 to around 600 million in 2030. Energy solar and wind are expected to produce 40% of electricity by 2030, and the growing electrification of heating and cooling will play a major role in these gains.

High-efficiency electric heat pumps will be the primary technology for reducing heating emissions in the building sector, according to the agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) scenario. New fossil fuel boilers are expected to be phased out completely by 2025.

Nordic European countries and France dominate the market share of heat pumps, owing to high end-user acceptance and awareness of their more competitive total life cycle costs. In Sweden, 29% of building heating demand is covered by heat pumps. In Finland, the corresponding figure is 15%.

In regions where heat pumps can meet both cooling and heating demand, such as the United States and Japan, the technology also accounts for a significant share of the heating market. In the United States, approximately 40% of new single-family homes are heated by heat pumps.

The European Commission’s REPowerEU plan proposes to double the deployment rate of heat pumps to 10 million units within five years, in order to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas. In the United States, heat pumps have been identified as one of five key technologies in the Defense Production Act (DPA). The IEA recommends that taxes and subsidies support the deployment of heat pumps, shifting charges linked to higher saturation of renewable energy sources from electricity prices to fossil fuel prices, for example.

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