22 May 2008

GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMPS IN THE UK – MARKET STATUS AND EVALUATION


This paper reviews the status of the ground-source heat pump (GSHP) market in
the UK and contrasts this with the more mature European markets (Austria, Germany,
Sweden and Switzerland). The reasons for such a strong difference in GSHP installed
capacity and the barriers that the UK market is facing are investigated. The paper presents a
comparison of key facts and statistics from the UK and four nations with a strong GSHP
market. A questionnaire was also designed and circulated in order to gain a greater insight
into market inhibitors from those working in the UK GSHP industry. From the market
assessment it is shown that GSHP development in the UK is some twenty years behind the
other nations and received lower levels of support from government and utilities. A significant
inhibitor appears to be the legacy of previous fossil fuel security in the UK. Feedback from
the questionnaire suggests high capital costs are also a key factor.