The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Bernadett Kiss

Bernadett Kiss


Bernadett Kiss

Heat Pumps: A Comparative Assessment of Innovation and Diffusion Policies in Sweden and Switzerland


  • Bernadett Kiss
  • Lena Neij
  • Martin Jakob


  • Arnulf Grübler
  • Charlie Wilson

Summary, in English

The development and introduction of heat pumps provides an interesting illustration of policy influence and effectiveness in relation to energy technology innovation. Heat pumps have been supported by several countries since the 1970s as a strategy to improve energy efficiency, support energy security, reduce environmental degradation, and combat climate change. Sweden and Switzerland have been essential to the development and commercialization of heat pumps in Europe. In both countries, numerous policy incentives have lined the path of technology and market development. Early policy initiatives were poorly coordinated but supported technology development, entrepreneurial experimentation, knowledge development, and the involvement of important actors in networks and organisations. The market collapse in the mid 1980s could have resulted in a total failure ‐ but did not. The research programmes continued in the 1980s, and a new set of stakeholders formed ‐ both publicly and privately funded researchers, authorities, and institutions ‐ and provided an important platform for

further development. In the 1990s and 2000s, Sweden and Switzerland introduced more coordinated and strategic policy incentives for the development of heat pumps. The approaches were flexible and adjusted over time. The policy interventions in both countries supported learning, successful development and diffusion processes, and cost reductions. This assessment of innovation and diffusion policies for heat pump systems can be used to generalise some insights for energy technology innovation policy.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Energy Technology Innovation - Learning from Historical Successes and Failures

Document type

Book chapter


Cambridge University Press


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • innovation
  • policy
  • heat pumps




  • Policy Intervention for a Competitive Green Energy Economy


  • ISBN: 978-1-107-02322-2