Ireland is planning to deploy 600,000 heat pumps by 2030, of which 400,000 will be in existing buildings.
The plan is part of a new €12.9 billion fund that the Irish government has allocated for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) by the end of the decade, as part of the revision of the country's National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2030.
Part of this sum – around €1.3 billion – has been collected from carbon tax receipts and is intended for use in retrofitting 500,000 homes to a building energy rating of B2, and the expected heat pump deployment is expected to play a major role in this transition.
“This investment will support significant numbers of free energy upgrades for low-income households and those at risk from energy poverty over the coming years,” said DECC minister Eamon Ryan. “It will be complemented by the government’s Housing for All [policy], which commits to the retrofitting of 36,500 local authority houses by 2030.”
The government also said it wants to raise the share of renewable electricity in the generation mix up to 80% and to allocate around 15.5 GW of wind and solar capacity through the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). Of this installed power, 5 GW is planned to come from offshore wind, 8 GW from onshore wind and 2.5 GW from utility scale solar.
Recent research from the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) found that the Irish market is currently largely dominated by air and water source heat pumps, with small market shares left to ground-source and air-to-air and air-source heat pumps. At the end of 2020, around 44,000 heat pumps were operational in the country.
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