The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has accused the European Commission of missing the chance to 'wake up the sleeping giant of heating and cooling' in its recent communication to the European parliament on the current 2020 policy framework.
The EHPA argues that while the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) fully recognizes heat pumps as a renewable technology, the communication fails to give due prominence to the product in its communication. This is despite the fact that heating and cooling represents the single largest demand segment and the National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) calls for a doubling of the share of heat pumps.
'Everyone keeps on stressing the contribution potential of the 'sleeping giant' - renewable heating and cooling,' says EHPA secretary general, Thomas Nowak. 'It's time to wake him up. With the presented communication, the Commission misses the chance to do so'.
Heat pumps not only increase the amount of renewable energy used, they also improve energy efficiency in heating, cooling and hot water production in both residential and commercial applications, states the EHPA.
'Heat pump technology is an obvious part of the solution to many of the challenges Europe is currently facing,' adds Mr Nowak.
'The market is starting to pick up, with more than 700,000 units sold in 2011. Much more is possible, if the right incentives are set. That means - among others - appropriate acknowledgement in documents outlining Europe's future energy vision, such as the current communication.'