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EU recognition of Heat Pumps presents major opportunity for Daikin Europe


On 17 December 2008, the European Parliament adopted the EU Directive on promoting the use of energy from renewable sources. For the first time however, in addition to geothermal energy, aero thermal and hydrothermal energy are also recognised as renewable energy sources. The Directive, which should be adopted by each member state, opens up a major opportunity for the increased use of Daikin air, ground and water source heat pumps.

EU Directive to boost heat pump promotion

With the recognition by the EU of outside air, ground and (surface, lake or well) water as renewable energy sources, much is expected of member states’ promotion of heat pump technologies using these sources. The Directive text indeed implies that member states shall promote heat pumps in much the same way as they have for solar and wind energy.

Some member states have not yet recognised that air and water can be ideal for low carbon home heating. This Directive encourages them to support related technologies and to help achieve EU energy objectives. Heat pumps are already popular in countries such as France, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden. In some cases, this is due to tax incentives (France and Ireland). In others, a lack of oil or environmental awareness on the part of the government has led to increased attention afforded to heat pumps. Around 70% of all newly built houses in Switzerland are equipped with heat pumps and Norway and Sweden actively promote heat pumps for environmental preservation reasons.

Daikin heat pumps contribute to EU 20/20/20 objectives

The urgency of EU 20/20/20 objectives – reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption by 20% and increasing the share of renewable energy by 20%, all by 2020 – and the fact that heat pumps can contribute directly to meeting these ambitious objectives, present a major opportunity for heat pumps. With 60 years’ experience in heat pumps, Daikin Europe is confident it can contribute to help meet these objectives. The company is therefore, well pleased by the adoption of the Directive and will step up its efforts to make its heat pumps even more energy efficient. Backed by the commercial success of heat pumps in France, the adoption of the Directive plus the urgency of meeting EU energy objectives, other member states should certainly be encouraged to enhance awareness concerning heat pumps.

In the UK, the government’s “Sustainable Energy and Climate Change” bill and Part L.1a building regulations “Conservation of Fuel and Power” have already contributed significantly to a sharp increase in sales of the Daikin Altherma air to water heat pump system. Nevertheless, the new Directive will certainly drive this increase to even greater heights. The low carbon emission characteristics, readily accessible heat source, good low ambient performance and the potential to reduce valuable energy input by up to 80% present a compelling argument for the wider use of Altherma in UK residential applications.

Heat pumps will boost the low carbon heating market

Although the share of heat pumps in the total heating market has not yet reached double digit figures, its enormous potential and the incentive programmes to be expected following the adoption of the Directive will undoubtedly lead to increased market share.

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