Heat pumps sales are growing at a very fast rate. According to Finnish Heat Pump Association SULPU statistics, the sales of heat pumps grew last year by 50%. In 2022, a total of 196,000 heat pumps were sold. The number of air-to-air heat pumps sold was 160,000. As for air-to-water heat pumps, sales grew by almost 60% and 19,000 pumps were installed. The sales of ground-source heat pumps increased by about 20 percent, with 12,000 pumps sold. The sales volume of exhaust-air heat pumps for single-family houses fell by 20% – this was the only sector that saw a decline.
The increase in the price of energy and the demand for heating solutions with the greatest possible degree of independence are a plus for heat pumps. As a result of the increase in the price of oil, gas, district heating, and electricity, the profitability of heat pumps has continued to improve. The subsidies for the replacement of oil boilers and the improvement of their energy efficiency are boosting heat pump sales in the market for heating system renovations. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine also increased the demand for heat pumps. People started seeking other ways of heating their houses – ways that are based on self-produced energy and the minimization the use of delivered energy. A heat pump provides an excellent solution for this.
The heat pump sector has been hit – and is still challenged – by the international shortage of components and equipment, plus the shortage of entrepreneurship, designer, and installation resources. Long delivery times, even longer than six-months, of energy wells and the congestion of permits in municipalities and towns hinder the sales and installations of ground-heat projects in particular. Shortages of human resources in the heat pump and refrigeration industries are threatening to slow down even the green transition, unless the education system is developed at all levels to meet today’s needs, says Jussi Hirvonen, the executive director of the Finnish Heat Pump Association SULPU, with concern.
Heating is becoming electrified and heat-pump sourced. Combustion-based heating generates a significant proportion of the total volume of carbon dioxide emissions in Finland. To combat climate change, we must stop using fossil fuels, but in the long term, we must also stop burning biofuels. In Finnish conditions, heat pumps are often the most practical and cost-effective solution for combustion-free transition. Using electricity, heat pumps can very effectively harness even low-temperature ambient and waste heat both for heating and cooling. Fortunately, electrification of heat is well under way in Finland. Finland’s 1.4 million heat pumps already provide about 20 percent of heating. Thanks to the high profitability of investments, the growth of the heat pump market just keeps accelerating.
The heat pump sector is performing well but the future prospects for heat pumps are truly remarkable. Reaching an adequate level of electrification of heating, in line with EU’s FIT for 55 package and RePowerEU plan, requires 50 to 60 million heat pumps already in 2030. This means tripling the number of heat pumps in Europe – currently at 20 million. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that in 2050 there will be 1.8 billion heat pumps in the world.
Sales statistics and charts for 2022 are available via the link provided.