The federal government wants to have installed six million heat pumps in Germany by 2030. The growth rates in the industry are immense. In the new year there should already be 350,000 new heat pumps, and then 500,000 in the following year. But there are also obstacles for the industry.

Despite the shortage of materials and craftsmen, the heat pump industry is also assuming strong growth for the coming year. Around 350,000 devices are to be built and installed, according to the Federal Heat Pump Association. Based on the forecast 230,000 new devices this year, that would be an increase of 52 percent. According to the association, manufacturers and trades are constantly expanding their range.

As early as 2022, the industry recorded a forecast increase in sales of around 50 percent compared to the previous year. The main driver is the feared gas crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine. “The desired independence from importing fossil fuels plays a decisive role in the choice of heating system.”

From 2024, the federal government wants 500,000 heat pumps to be installed every year. By 2030 there should be a total of six million devices in Germany. From the point of view of the association, a lack of material and bottlenecks among craftsmen could slow down the ramp-up. The waiting times are already between six months and a year.

“We come from a production capacity that was previously designed for a market of 150,000. But the demand is actually already approaching 500,000,” said the association’s head of politics, Björn Schreinermacher. Industry has made it clear that rapid expansion is possible.

The manufacturer Bosch Thermotechnik, for example, which is one of the leading providers in Germany, has set itself a growth target of 35 to 40 percent for heat pumps. Another production facility in Eibelshausen in central Hesse is scheduled to start in January. The Bosch subsidiary wants to spend almost 300 million euros on electrification by 2025, which will focus on research and development as well as industrialization in the field of heat pumps. 400 million euros have already been invested since 2018.

The demand for heat pumps is still very high, said a spokeswoman. The company is trying to keep delivery times as short as possible – for example, systems are prioritized that can be delivered completely so that the heating engineers can work through this construction site efficiently. Bosch Thermotechnology does not expect a short-term improvement in the lack of components.

The Central Association of German Electrical and Information Technology Trades (ZVEH) considers the federal government’s target of six million to be realistic. However, several adjustments have to be made at the same time: In addition to building up skilled workers and increasing efficiency through digitization, more incentives are needed from the federal government. Looking ahead, the high electricity prices and declining subsidies are obstacles.