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Market transformation for energy efficiency - a case study of the introduction and diffusion of heat pumps in Sweden and Switzerland

  • Lena Neij
  • Bernadett Kiss
  • Martin Jakob
Publishing year: 2008
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper

Abstract english

Since 1970s the development and introduction of heat pumps have been supported as a

strategy to improve energy efficiency in Sweden and Switzerland. Several policy

instruments have been applied, such as R&D, subsidies/electricity price incentives,

labelling and quality test centres. The justification of introducing heat pumps as an energy-efficient end use technology was, in general, to decrease dependence of oil, secure energy supply and increase domestic, and if possible, renewable energy supply options. In Sweden, but not yet in Switzerland heat pumps also came to be a strategy for reducing electricity demand (by replacing electric heating systems). As a result of the policy strategies for efficient energy and electricity use, heat pumps came to be developed and introduced on a large scale in Sweden and Switzerland. In the mid 1990s market development (transformation) took off. Today, Sweden has the absolute largest market for ground source heat pumps in Europe. In 2006, more than 400 000 ground source heat pumps were sold in Sweden. In Switzerland, the market share of heat pumps is more than two thirds in the sector of new single family houses. Moreover, after a long period of low interest, the interest for heat pumps in Europe has been heavily growing in the past couple of years (e.g. Germany, France, UK, and Finland). In this paper we present an analysis of the market development (transformation) of heat pumps in Sweden and Switzerland. The key question is How to design policy instruments for the introduction of new energy technologies in a successful way? We analyse changes in the socio-technical system/innovation system, how these changes have been supported by different policy instruments and what impact they had on the market, e.g. regarding the development of prices/costs, efficiency / techno-economic progress.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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