From Nordic Shores: The Trendiest Heat Pump Country


This week marks my first visit to Finland, and the excitement is palpable. My interest in this country has grown in recent years, largely due to its booming heat pump sector, with 2022 standing out as a particularly notable year.

An Ideal Market for Heat Pumps

Finland proves to be an excellent environment for the promotion and installation of heat pumps for a variety of reasons. Given its cold climate and high heating consumption, the return on investment for heat pump installations is significantly expedited. Furthermore, as global climate change introduces warmer summers to even Nordic countries like Finland, the demand for cooling solutions increases. While active cooling may not yet be widespread, water-to-water heat pump technologies offer an effective passive cooling alternative, also benefiting industrial cooling processes.

Politically, Finland is at the forefront of environmental initiatives, with a steadfast commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The Fossil-Free Welfare Society initiative is particularly groundbreaking, aiming to shift away from fossil fuels towards sustainable energy practices. This includes the integration of renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A Year of Success Amid Challenges

The heat pump industry saw a significant year in 2022, despite facing challenges such as production capacity shortages and prolonged delivery times due to component scarcities. Nonetheless, Finland witnessed a 50% increase in heat pump sales, reaching approximately 200,000 units. This growth spanned across all heat pump categories, including air-to-air, air-to-water and water-to-water.

Several factors contributed to this exceptional growth. The scarcity of supply prompted many companies to increase their stock levels. Moreover, the geopolitical landscape, marked by rising gas prices and the war between Russia and Ukraine, drove the search for heating alternatives less dependent on imported energy. Additionally, government subsidies played a crucial role in boosting sales within the country.

A Return to Normalcy

Following the adage, “After the storm comes the calm,” 2023 saw a normalisation of sales, with figures returning to the impressive yet steady count of 114,000 heat pumps sold, akin to 2021 levels. Remarkably, water-to-water heat pumps maintained their popularity, with sales of 12,000 units, a notable achievement in the context of other markets.

Given Finland’s extensive geothermal groundwater resources and its cold climate, investing in this technology not only makes sense but also enhances the quality of life for its residents by offering comfort and peace of mind.

Implications for UK Homeowners

The lessons from Finland are manifold. The country’s pioneering role in heat pump technology and its commitment to sustainability offer UK homeowners valuable perspectives on enhancing their own heating systems. The Finnish example illustrates the potential for significant energy savings and environmental impact reduction, aligning with the UK’s own climate goals.

Beyond the technical and environmental insights, this visit reaffirms the importance of firsthand experiences and local knowledge. As UK homeowners consider adopting heat pump technologies, looking towards Finland’s successes and challenges can provide practical guidance and inspiration. This journey also serves as a reminder of the broader benefits of embracing sustainable living, from enjoying natural beauty and cultural richness to contributing to a greener planet.

Expectations for the Trip

Embarking on this trip for work, I anticipate gaining firsthand insights that surpass any prior research. There’s no substitute for experiencing the reality on the ground and interacting with the locals daily. Finland’s leadership in heat pump technology promises a wealth of learning opportunities, from innovative companies and business models to solutions yet to be discovered.

Beyond the focus on heat pumps, I’m also eager to explore Finland’s natural beauty, culture, gastronomy and, of course, its unique temperatures!

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