EUROPEAN HEAT PUMP MARKET ANALYSIS: ASSESSMENT OF BARRIERS AND DRIVERS
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The European Union is currently undertaking unprecedented efforts to increase its use of renewable energy sources by 20% with respect to 1990’s levels. In this perspective, heat pumps represent a powerful low carbon energy resource towards achieving the 2009/28/EC Directive’s targets. Despite their benefits, heat pumps are still being implemented below their potential rates in large parts of Europe. In the aim of rising the market penetration of heat pumps at European Union level, this paper performs a qualitative feasibility study - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis - based on knowledge provided by the main stakeholders of the branch (institutional actors, industry, building professionals, power sector, and demand side). The study shows the main barriers (weaknesses and threats) to be: i.) Price ratio between alternative energy sources and electricity, ii.) Investment costs as well as iii.) Installation costs. In contrast, major drivers (strengths and opportunities) are: i.) Policies and legislation, ii.) Research and innovation, and iii.) Innovative heat pump systems. The pinpointing of the above barriers and drivers is capable of supporting in particular institutional actors in formulating possible policy and legislative developments to accelerate the penetration of heat pumps in Europe.