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The Heat Pump Market, Research and Policy in France

Views: 21     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-24      Origin: Site

France is at the forefront of Europe's goal to become the first climate-neutral continent, and sustainable heating and cooling is a French priority, nationally and internationally. Heat pumps are an important technology to help with this goal through ecological and energy-efficient heating, cooling, and hot water preparation. Heat pumps efficiently use electricity to harness ambient heat from the air, water, or ground for various residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

Heat pumps offer several advantages over conventional heating solutions. Heat pumps have a highly efficient energy-to-heat conversion rate and save CO2 emissions. Also, they are cost-effective in operation and maintenance, making ideal alternatives for furnaces, boilers, central ventilation, or air conditioners. Transforming heating markets by introducing high energy efficiency is key to achieving the countries and EU's overall climate ambitions.


heat pumps installed outdoor


The French government has set objectives and formulated policies to facilitate the ecological transition to renewable energy sources. Also, the EU's REPowerEU plan seeks to significantly increase annual heat pump deployment over the next few years to reduce the EU's reliance on gas imports. All these factors and the increasing adoption of heat pumps as an energy solution in France represent untapped opportunities for heat pump vendors. Herein is a comprehensive look at the heat pump market, research, and policy in France.


The French Heat Pump Market


France has witnessed a steady growth in heat pump usage over the past decade with the adoption of different types of installations. Today, the country forms one of Europe's major heat pump markets.  According to the most recent data from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), France had more than 2.3 million heat pumps in 2018. These installations collectively generated 37 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy (renewable) and saved 9.4 Mt in CO2 emissions.

275,000 heat pumps were sold in France in 2018, representing a 12.3% growth from the previous year. A look at the timeline reveals that there has been a steady increase in heat pump sales in the country since 2010. By 2020, France was the top market for heat pump sales in Europe, with nearly 400,000 heat pumps sold in 2020. French, German, and Italian sales accounted for half of Europe's annual sales.

The French heat pump market scaling up can be partly attributed to the renewed political drive for de-carbonization and energy efficiency. French energy agencies have identified heat pumps as green technologies that may benefit from financial support.

The strong growth in the French heat pump market could skyrocket as the implementation of the aforementioned REPowerEU kicks into gear. Other important drivers of developments in the French heat pump market include:

  • Low electricity prices – France has low electricity prices compared to the EU average. This is beneficial for the adoption and implementation of heat pumps.

  • Increased demand for cooling – France is witnessing a growing demand for cooling in residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. Increased digital infrastructure, summer temperatures, and the inefficiency of district cooling networks are key drivers of this demand. Heat pumps represent a viable cooling option for end-users.

Note that the most popular types of heat pumps in the French market are air-source heat pumps, including air-to-water and air-to-air heat pumps, which have increased in demand over the last decade. Air source heat pumps convert the latent energy from outside air into heat for heating purposes. You can use these heat pumps to heat indoor spaces or water. Air source heat pumps reduce energy consumption due to their high efficiency, low maintenance, and ideal for both hot and cold weather.

SPRSUN is one of the major top-quality air source heat pump vendors and has served numerous clients and overseen projects in France. SPRSUN also supplies other types of heat pumps, including inverter heat pumps, cold climate heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, swimming pool heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps.


heat pump in cold climates


Heat Pump Research and Policy in France


Collaboration in the French and International industries has been pivotal in creating energy solutions for the country today. For instance, multiple manufacturers, suppliers, and installation experts often collaborate to implement commercial and industrial heat pump solutions. This has allowed for innovative combinations of solutions.

A buyer in France today can purchase comprehensive heat pump solutions for their needs without having to rely on multiple vendors and service providers.

The heat pump solutions that SPRSUN offers are a prime example of this. Nonetheless, multiple networks in the country are implementing heat pumps leveraging innovative energy sources and technologies. Heat pumps integrated into residential heating, large-scale commercial or industrial buildings, and district heating result from technological competence and extensive industrial experience.

Today, France has one of the strongest regulatory systems in Europe. As such, heat pump suppliers must be well-versed in adhering to regulations on both the national and EU levels. Suppliers must also be competent in sourcing, installing, and maintaining their heating and cooling systems.

The EU is also expected to consider heat pumps a sustainable technology depending on the renewability of the energy source. This may pave the way for extensive investment and research into the sector being part of the European Green Deal.

As an integral part of heat de-carbonization, heat pumps have received policy support in France over the past few years. In addition to EU legislation, France has implemented a robust regulatory scheme that has encouraged and continues to encourage renewable energy and the reduction of energy consumption.

France has adopted various tools, including regulations, information and awareness actions, and financial incentives in its policy framework to help achieve these objectives.

For example, France expects 38% of the country's final heat consumption to be sourced from renewable sources by 2030. Also, renewable energies should represent 33% of France's gross final energy consumption. France also aims to increase the quantity of renewable energy delivered by district heating and cooling networks by five times in comparison to 2015 as a reference year. The two main policies for renewable energies that may affect the heat pump market include:

  • RE2020 – A regulation limiting energy consumption that non-renewable energies produce in new buildings. New individual and collective housing that uses gas exclusively will have a heating installation threshold. This measure is expected to push customers to adopt heat pumps for their heating requirements as opposed to connecting to a district heating network.

  • Multiannual Energy Programming – A set of objectives targeting the final energy consumption by each renewable sector covering 2019 through 2028. According to the energy output objectives, aero-thermal heat pumps should reach 35TWh by 2023 and 45 TWh by 2028. Geothermal heat pumps should reach 4.6 TWh by 2023 and up to 7 TWh by 2028.

The French government has also implemented a variety of incentive schemes that have contributed to a significant boost in the French heat pump market over the years. The Heat Fund and Energy Savings Certificate are long-term incentives to encourage the commercial use of heat pumps. The government implements the Heat Fund (Le Fonds Chaleur) to help households, companies, institutions, and communities move to heating and cooling using renewable and recovered energy sources.

The current annual budget of The Heat Fund is 350 million Euros, with total subsidies amounting to more than 2.6 billion over the last decade. It was one of the commitments made during the Grenelle Environment Forum and supports the development of heat pumps alongside solar thermal, geothermal energy, and biomass (biogas).

This incentive targets collective housing and industry. Another objective of the incentive was to reduce heating bills and encourage the diversification of the energy supply.

The Energy Savings Certificates (Certificates d'Economies d'Energie) serve as a steering tool whereby energy providers are obligated to reduce energy consumption. The incentive features defined objectives and quotas over a fixed period. Energy providers have to fulfill these goals to avoid financial penalties. Starting from 2006, the obligations have increased, and the Energy Savings Certificates are expected to continue promoting the renewable energy sector long-term, including the heat pump market.

Other notable incentive schemes include the ECO-interest loan and reduced VAT rates for renovation. The Energy Transition tax credit granted property owners a tax credit for purchasing and installing the most efficient energy-saving or energy-producing equipment or materials. Thanks to this measure, millions of homes have been renovated in France.

The French heat pump market really took off when heat pump water heaters were integrated into the subsidies scheme for the retrofit market and new individual properties. The highest growth rate in heat pump sales in France was recorded at the turn of 2013 and 2014, unsurprisingly. Note that France began implementing policies that helped promote the heat pump market a decade ago.

These policies affected the building sector in particular. The buildings sector represents a significant portion of the final energy consumption in France. It's no wonder it's a key issue concerning energy efficiency policies. Upgrading building thermal performance is essential to overall energy efficiency, the development of renewable energy, and reducing greenhouse gases.

SPRSUN air source heat pump

Starting from 2013, thermal regulations reinforced requirements on the thermal performance of new buildings. The buildings should consume less than 50 kWh of primary energy per square meter as part of the requirements. This applies to water and space heating, ventilation, cooling, and lighting. This policy tightened energy consumption considerably. In the previous regulation, the allowance for energy consumption was modulated by the type of heating system.

For France, ensuring energy security is essential for the proper functioning of industries, enterprises, businesses, and households. The adoption of renewable energy sources, such as heat pumps, continues to play a pivotal role in this department. To this end, the government has implemented a robust policy framework that promotes the development of the French heat pump market, making complete heat pump systems solutions highly sought after in the country.


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