Heat pump technology can deliver major economic, environmental and energy system benefits to Europe. Heat pumps use renewable energy and may be the single most efficient technology for heating and cooling, particularly when both services are required in the same location and at the same time.
Heat pumps are installed in larger numbers only recently, while the underlying concept has been around for over 150 years. The technology is now becoming a keystone to the energy mix for decarbonising heating and cooling in industry and society at large. The energy transition is therefore not a technology challenge but rather a policy and awareness-raising issue. This special report sheds light on the fundamental principle of the technology, the renewable and waste-energy based sources used, the financial and energy efficiencies that are achieved, the business models being deployed, and the non-technical benefits for the environment and society. Directed at policy-makers and industry players, this report advances the unique integrative function that heat pumps provide for decarbonising the heating and cooling sectors, thus explaining why heat pump technology will be at central component of Europe’s future energy system.