Views: 192 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-03-24 Origin: Site
Heat pumps are a viable alternative to fossil fuels for heating purposes. There has been significant growth in heat pump sales in European Union countries recently in light of the 2022 energy crisis. Nowhere is the shift to cleaner heating solutions more apparent than in Poland. Poland has witnessed rapid adoption of heat pumps as an alternative energy source in recent years.
According to data from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA), 2022 was the heat pump year in Poland, with the country’s heat pump market growing by an impressive 120%. So, why have heat pumps become the go-to heating solution for many Polish households? Herein is a comprehensive overview of the growing demand for heat pumps in Poland, including reasons behind the country’s widespread adoption of heat pump technology.
2022 was a landmark year for heat pump sales in Poland according to an analysis by The Polish Organization of Heat Pump Technology Development (PORT PC). PORT PC is a member of EHPA. The 2022 report detailed the massive 120% growth in the overall heat pump market compared to 2021. The increase reached 130% when you account for central water heating equipment.
Also, heat pumps for building heating grew by 130% in the same period, with nearly one in every three space heating units sold in the country being a heat pump. The most popular type of heat pump in Poland is the air-to-water heat pump. Sales of this type of heat pump in 2022 increased by 137% compared to the previous year.
2022 was the fifth year in a row that the Polish air-to-water heat pump had 100% year-on-year sales dynamics. In fact, it is the highest heat pump sales dynamics in Europe in the last two years. The sales represent a growth of 100-fold over the past decade.
The sales of ground source heat pumps, the second most popular type of heat pump in Poland, also increased by 28%. In terms of volume, more than 200,000 units were sold in Poland. Of these, 188, 200 were air-to-water units, 7,200 were ground source units, and 7,900 were domestic hot water heat pumps.
It’s worth noting that the rise of heat pump sales in Poland in 2022 wasn’t a one-off development. Heat pumps sales in Poland have been steadily rising over the past few years. In 2021, the European nation had the fastest-growing heat pump market in Europe.
Poland had a sales growth of 67% compared to 2020, representing 93,000 units sold. That year, more heat pumps were installed per capita than in Poland and other emerging heat pump markets like the UK or Germany.
Various factors are attributed to the recent growth of heat pump sales in Poland, key among them the Russian-Ukraine war, government policies and programs, and an increased interest in renewable energy. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent energy crisis it caused have helped accelerate Europe’s transition to alternative energy sources. The war essentially reshaped the economics of clean heating solutions.
Across Europe and many other regions, the prices of fossil fuels for heating purposes rose sharply. In turn, electricity prices also increased since fossil gas often determines prices in the electricity market. Traditionally, Poland has been heavily reliant on fossil fuels such as coal for heating, and prided itself in being an energy-independent EU country for many years.
Poland’s coal mining industry and coal-fuel plants provide carbon-heavy domestic energy for heating and electricity. The country burns more than 80% of the EU’s coal for home heating with a little under 50 % of households using fossil fuels for heating.
Even with increased interest in renewable clean energy, Poland’s dependence on coal in district heating and electricity production remains high.
Over the years, Poland has experienced a steady decline in its coal mining output, particularly the type of coal utilized in individual boilers. Russia has stepped in to fill the void, with Poland importing € 0.5-1 billion worth of Russian coal annually for district heating. All these factors mean that Poland is highly vulnerable to volatile price increases, as has been witnessed in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.
This is not to mention the greenhouse gas effects and health impact from the pollution that comes with widespread fossil fuel usage. In this landscape, heat pumps have emerged as an affordable, cleaner, and sustainable alternative. Before the 2022 energy crisis, heat pump operating costs were nearly on par with fossil fuel heating technologies in Poland.
As the energy crisis continues, many Polish households remain subject to the volatile nature of fuel prices, which are often subject to extreme changes. The prices of residential coal and gas rose to historic record levels in wholesale markets. In these high-price scenarios, the operating expenses of heat pump solutions are more competitive than other heating systems.
Heat pump solutions protect Polish households from the price exposure of fossil fuel markets. While the price of electricity also increases, the swings tend to be milder. Further, the efficiency of heat pumps offset electricity price increases, translating into low coverall operational costs. There is an increased awareness of the long-term cost benefits of installing heat pumps, helping drive heat pump sales in Poland.
Government policies have also accelerated the adoption of heat pump heating solutions in Poland. In 2018, the Polish government introduced a multi-billion Euro 10-year program aimed at replacing fossil fuel heating systems with cleaner alternatives such as heat pumps. The government has adjusted these subsidies according to income.
As such, even low-income Polish households can receive government support in adopting heat pump technology for their heating needs. Households may obtain financial support for zero-emission heating systems.
The upfront cost of heat pump systems has been a key challenge keeping many households from adopting the heating solution. Backed by government policies and programs, investing in a heat pump makes much more sense today from an economic, energy security, and environmental standpoint.
Also, many regions in Poland have enacted emission standards to slowly replace coal-fired systems. Overall, there is plenty of incentive for many Polish household to make the shift to heat pump heating solutions. These government policies and programs such as the Retrofit Tax Relief and Clean Air Program, amid the energy crisis, have led to an increased interest in heat pump technology in recent years.
There has been a marked increase in heat pump applications within these and other programs. In December 2022, heat pumps accounted for a 63 % share of total heat source replacement applications in the Clean Air Program. This figure was up from only 28 % in January 2022.
The sales increase also coincided with the 2022 European Commission’s announcement to move away from using fossil fuels in buildings as part of the REPowerEU initiative. Many EU countries, including Germany, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, and Slovakia also recorded increased heat pump sales during the same period.
Another important program subsidizing heat pumps for Polish households is the My Heat Priority Program, launched by the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund.
This program subsidizes up to 30 % of heat pump solutions and facilitates favorable loan terms for single-family buildings. The National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund reported that the program has attracted the interest of many beneficiaries.
Since its launch in April 2022, more than 15,000 single-family households have submitted applications for heat pump installation subsidies.
In light of these and other favorable programs, it’s not difficult to see why heat pump sales in Poland have risen dramatically over the past year. Heat pumps also boast other aspects that increase their usage attractiveness for many Poles. Heat pumps are capable of both heating and cooling, and have high operating comfort.
The rise in heat pump sales is expected to continue its rising trajectory in 2023 and beyond. Further growth is necessary if Poland is to be successful in its bid to replace coal-based heating. One of the factors that may play a key role is the loosening of heat pump subsidy rules by the EU. The European Commission recently announced major alterations to state aid guidelines, which are expected to boost the European heat pump sector.
Looking to compete with the US’s green technology plan, the EU has relaxed rules on subsidies for certain European sectors including heat pumps, battery manufacture, and wind turbines. If well implemented, these changes will increase the manufacturing and installation capacities of companies in the heat pump industry.
The changes aim to supporting stakeholders, industry players, and households in achieving REPowerEU targets. The expected effect would be further increases in heat pump sales and installations across EU countries, including Poland, as more households gravitate towards renewable energy sources.
PORT PC also continues to build installer and consumer trust by introducing and developing quality certifications and standards. Efforts by the key Polish heat pump industry association and EHPA seem to be bearing fruit based on the recent market developments. Notable challenges that remain to be handled for continued success include renewable/cleaner electricity generation, increased consumer awareness and industry willingness, and potential supply chain disruptions.
Overall, the incredible adoption of heat pump technology in Poland serves as a great template for other countries to emulate in their de-carbonization efforts. Leading heat pump manufacturers and suppliers such as SPRSUN have stepped in to cater to the increasing demand for high-quality appliances in Poland. Poland’s clean energy transition is commendable and future prospects are highly encouraging.