Brussels prepares ‘strategy’ to boost deployment of heat pumps

(EurActiv, 10 Mar 2023) In a bid to further the EU’s energy independence, the European Commission has announced an action plan in the coming months to boost the manufacturing and deployment of heat pumps in Europe.

The Kremlin’s war in Ukraine and a renewed focus on industrial policy has put the humble heat pump at the centre of EU plans to exit Russian fossil fuels.

“You can also expect from our side that we will present a strategy on heat pumps,” the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, told lawmakers in the European Parliament’s industrial committee on Thursday (9 March).

Doing so would support the EU’s efforts to become more energy independent and “not to replace one unreliable source of gas with another,” Simson said, adding that the strategy is expected to be tabled before the end of the year, coinciding with industrial policy endeavours spearheaded in Brussels.

Heat pumps are often described as “reverse fridges” – they concentrate ambient heat, producing warmth at a much greater degree of efficiency than their traditional counterparts.

While heat pumps are expected to become the largest source of decarbonised household heat in Europe, the appliance had been relegated to a relatively minor role in the EU’s plan to exit Russian fossil fuels, dubbed REPowerEU, that was presented in May last year. 

The REPowerEU plan aimed to “double the rate of deployment of heat pumps,” referring to 10 million hydronic heat pumps “in the next five years” and 30 million by 2030.

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EurActiv, 10 Mar 2023: Brussels prepares ‘strategy’ to boost deployment of heat pumps