Net zero industry deal is good start, now let’s get to work

On Tuesday, the European Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the EU’s plan to boost net zero domestic industries, including the heat pump industry. For the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) this plan is a good start, but more must be done.   

EHPA is pleased to see heat pumps recognised as a key net-zero technology—a pivotal step towards decarbonising heating and cooling within the EU’s building stock and industry. Yet, it is disappointing that the list includes seventeen technologies instead of the eight mature clean technologies originally proposed by the European Commission.   

What’s more, the benchmark of 40% of clean tech production in the EU by 2030 is below the over 60% level already met by the heat pump sector – in which European companies are global leaders.   

“This plan needs way more meat on its bones – both in terms of ambition and sectoral detail – to boost the heat pump sector”, commented Jozefien Vanbeceleare, Head of EU Affairs at the European Heat Pump Association. “Since it’s missing here, we hope the upcoming competitiveness report will fill the gap.”  

Former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is preparing a separate report on competitiveness, which is an opportunity to conduct sector-specific assessments and implement tailored measures.   

In tandem with the launch of the 2040 plan, Commissioner Hoekstra underscored the urge to attract private capital to boost clean-tech development. Current investment plans in the heat pump sector in Europe amount to €7 billion from 2022 to 2025: lack of policy clarity and delays in the implementation of key strategies – such as the Heat Pump Action Plan – risk undermining investors’ confidence at a time in which global competitiveness is rising.  

Therefore, EHPA looks forward to the European Commission’s upcoming proposal for a concrete roadmap to boost and finance technologies across Europe and the involvement of the heat pump sector in the clean transition dialogues.   

The provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council now needs to be endorsed and formally adopted by both institutions.