China leads the world on heat-pump adoption
China Daily

Visitors discuss products at the booth of Wilo Group, a German provider of pumps and pump systems, at the 5th China International Import Expo in Shanghai. (Photo provided to

China has the largest number of new heat pumps installations in the world, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing a new report from the International Energy Agency.

China also has the largest workforce installing heat pumps and the largest market share of 45 percent in manufacturing of heat pumps, the report said.

China has the most installers, since much of the building stock, particularly in the south of the country, relies on heat pumps for both cooling in the summer and heating in the winter, according to the report.

About 1 million residential air-source heat pumps were installed in China last year, with over 12 million air-source heat pumps installed in the country overall, according to a study in Nature Energy published earlier this year.

Ground-source heat pumps, which work by absorbing heat from the ground, rather than the air, are often used to replace historically dominant coal-based heating systems in China. They are more efficient to run, although tend to be more expensive and disruptive to install.

China has been attempting to reduce its reliance on coal for domestic heating to improve air quality, while moving towards heat pumps as part of decarbonization plans, together with Europe.

China's reliance on coal for heating in buildings has halved in the past five years while the government rolled out a series of initiatives to subsidize electric heating, according to data from IEA.