Production of heat pumps in the Pilsen company AC Heating. Illustrative photo.
Prague – According to preliminary results, Czech households purchased over 60,000 heat pumps last year. The number of installations thus doubled year-on-year last year. The installed power of the equipment then increased more than fourfold, amounting to 289 kilowatts (kW). Interest in heat pumps was mainly driven by family houses, which often reacted to price developments on the energy market. When asked by ČTK, this was stated by the Chamber of Renewable Energy Sources (OZE), according to which the sharp growth in demand will continue this year as well. The number of connected photovoltaics in the Czech Republic also increased almost fourfold last year.
The increase in the number of installed heat pumps in the Czech Republic thus corresponds to growth throughout Europe. At the same time, according to the chamber, the Czech Republic belongs, together with Germany and Sweden, to the main centers of heat pump production in Europe. In addition, some manufacturers have already announced an increase in production capacity.
There are currently over 200,000 heat pumps installed in the Czech Republic. However, this figure does not include classic air conditioners, which according to the chamber are still purchased here primarily for cooling.
This year, according to the chamber, interest in heating with heat pumps should continue to grow. “In 2023, we expect a further increase in interest in heat pumps in the residential sector, especially in the segment of apartment buildings. The main factor will be the new price lists of natural gas and district heating suppliers valid from the beginning of the heating season in 2022 or the new year. By 2027, we expect at least 200,000 new of heat pumps,” said the director of the Association for the Use of Heat Pumps, Petr Horký.
In addition to other installations in family homes, the chamber also expects increased demand in administrative and commercial buildings. “Unlike single-family houses, these buildings install not one, but the entire system of high-capacity heat pumps. It has been a big trend abroad for a long time, which unfortunately is faltering a bit in the Czech Republic due to the large administration,” Horký pointed out. In this context, the Chairman of the RES Chamber, Štěpán Chalupa, drew attention in particular to the barrier in the setting of the primary non-renewable energy factor, which, according to him, puts heat pumps at a disadvantage. The representatives of the chamber and the association therefore suggest reducing this factor.
According to experts, the current increase in interest in the device is the result of several influences. “The first of them is the concern of homeowners about the availability of natural gas. Customers also reacted quickly to the extreme increase in electricity and gas prices,” said Václav Skoblík from the energy group UCED. According to him, heat pumps are massively used especially in new construction, where together with biomass they can be an alternative to gas. “More investment-intensive with lower annual costs,” he pointed out.
Pumps also tend to replace outdated coal-fired boilers. However, Skoblík recommends evaluating whether this will change the thermal comfort. This would require further large investments. In addition, according to him, pumps are newly installed even in locations where central supply is available. “This does not make sense to me from the point of view of the consumption of primary sources, the reliability of heat supplies and often the cogeneration of electricity and gas,” he added. in the so-called Ten Commandments, how to proceed when choosing a quality pump and how to recognize a reliable installation company. In this way, he wants to eliminate cases of possible dishonest sellers who may propose unsuitable systems or poorly functioning equipment to clients.
Interest in renewable energy sources increased last year after the sharp increase in electricity and gas prices. This was also reflected in the installation of photovoltaic power plants, of which 33,760 with an output of 288.8 megawatts (MW) were put into operation in the Czech Republic last year, which is a year-on-year increase of 366 percent. Even in this case, experts expect further growth in demand this year.