Where are heat pumps most popular around the world?

Although still relatively new technology in the UK, other countries around the world have been using heat pumps for years. The market for heat pumps is ever-growing and they are becoming more prevalent across the globe. 

Where are heat pumps popular?

As of 2019, the heat pump market is currently dominated by the Asia Pacific region which has a massive 51% of global heat pumps. Of that, China has the largest market and accounts for 28% of the Asia Pacific region’s sales making China the biggest heat pump market globally. 

The North American region has the second-largest heat pump market in the world, accounting for 31% or about a third of the worldwide heat pump market. 

Europe has the third biggest heat pump market in the world with a 15% market share and Latin America and the Middle East and Africa regions only account for 2% each. 

In 2017, it was estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that China, Japan and the United States accounted for around 80% of all new installations of household heat pumps. 

Why are heat pumps so popular in China? 

China currently accounts for the biggest heat pump market in the world. China has tried to reduce air pollution and one of the ways they have done this is to move away from coal being the primary source of domestic heating.

With the introduction of the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in 2013, they offered a huge 85% reduction in the upfront cost of heat pumps and their installation. This huge incentive gave rise to a 28 times increase in heat pump installations in Beijing between 2015 and 2016. 

Are heat pumps popular in Europe?

Heat pumps are popular in many European countries, but the uptake differs across the continent. In 2018 around 1.3 million heat pumps were sold in Europe and in 2019 a further 1.45 million were sold. 

France accounts for the biggest heat pump market in Europe, followed by Italy, and Spain. However, Scandinavian countries have the biggest uptake when looking at the heat pump market in individual countries on a per household basis. In 2018, Norway was averaging 46 sales per thousand households. 

numbers of heat pumps sold in Europe in 2018 bar graph
heat pump sales in Europe 2018 pie chart

Why are heat pumps more popular in other European countries than in the UK? 

There aren’t currency lots of manufacturers of heat pumps in the UK and there is a lot of room for growth in the market as it matures. 

Another reason why heat pumps have not taken off so quickly in the UK is because of the current housing stock. Many UK houses are old and not very energy efficient. This means that for a heat pump to be effective, the houses would need to undergo measures to make them more energy efficient before a heat pump was a good option. 

Even though the UK heat pump market may seem small in comparison to many other countries, the market is growing rapidly. Between the years 2016 and 2019, the market grew and sales increased by a huge 85%. 

What are the most popular types of heat pumps in the UK? 

Air Source Heat Pumps are the most popular type of heat pump in the UK. In 2019 Air Source heat pumps made up a huge 87% of the heat pump sales market in the UK. 

Why are air source heat pumps so popular? 

Air source heat pumps are popular as they are normally cheaper than ground source heat pumps which makes them much more accessible to households. 

Are heat pumps used in new build properties? 

Yes, heat pumps are becoming more popular in new build properties and they will likely become even more prevalent over the coming years due to new rules and regulations coming in in 2025. 

Heat pumps are also popular because of low carbon emissions, but also don’t create any additional noise than traditional fossil fuel burners.

In 2019, 38% of all heat pump sales in the UK were for new builds and 62% were fitted into already existing properties. 

Here’s how to find out if your home has a heat pump.