Germany to miss 2024 heat pump target by half

(EurActiv, 24 Jan 2024) Despite record sales in 2023, Germany’s political target of 500,000 heat pumps for 2024 looks out of reach amid a drastic drop in natural gas prices and a drawn-out political fight over heat pump mandates.

Germany’s building sector is a climate laggard. Installing 500,000 heat pumps a year from 2024 was the political target to help with the country’s projected CO2 overshoot of some 50 million tonnes – the annual emissions of Austria – by 2030.

However, due to a political deadlock over heat pump mandates from 2024 and a return to pre-war gas prices, that target looks to be out of reach.

Outwardly, the industry is mostly smiles. Last year was a bumper year for the sector, with sales topping 356,000 units – up 50% from 2022. Sales in Germany propped up the results for all of Europe.

But in private conversation, the industry says that pace can’t be maintained. Selling an extra 150,000 heat pumps in 2024 to meet the government target, jointly agreed with heat pump producers and installers, will prove too challenging.

“Sales have been on a downward trend since June 2023,” stressed Martin Sabel, CEO of the German heat pump industry association BWP, on 22 January. According to the lobbyist, “the most recent slump in December 2023 is particularly alarming” with a “40% drop in sales”.

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EurActiv, 24 Jan 2024: Germany to miss 2024 heat pump target by half