The IEA said heat pumps, which can be used to heat most of the world's buildings, are an efficient and climate-friendly solution that could help consumers save money and allow countries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
In response to the global energy crisis, heat pump sales are expected to reach record levels in 2022, particularly in Europe, where sales in some countries more than doubled in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
If governments succeed in pushing through their emissions reduction and energy security targets, the IEA believes that annual sales of heat pumps in the EU could soar from 2m sets in 2021 to 7m sets by 2030, equivalent to a 2.5-fold increase.
At current energy prices, households in the US and Europe could save between $300 and $900 a year by switching to heat pumps, according to the IEA.
However, heat pumps can cost two to four times as much to buy and install as gas-fired boilers, which requires the necessary government support, and more than 30 countries already have financial incentives for heat pumps.
The IEA estimates that heat pumps have the potential to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by at least 500 million tons by 2030, the equivalent of all the current European cars' CO2 emissions for a year. In addition, heat pumps can also meet some of the needs of the industrial sector, especially in the paper, food and chemical industries.
All the conditions are in place for the heat pump market to take off, reminding us of the trajectory we've seen with technologies such as photovoltaics and electric vehicles. Heat pumps have tremendous economic and environmental potential in the future.