Briefs: EU Directive recognizes heat pumps as a renewable energy technology

On December 17, 2008, the European Parliament adopted the EU Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. The final compromise text for the first time includes aerothermal and hydrothermal energy sources, effectively recognising air-source and water-source heat pumps - not just ground-source heat pumps - as "renewable energy technology". Since the European Member states have agreed to target a 20% share of renewable energies in overall Community energy consumption by 2020, it should boost the heat pump market which has significantly increased in recent years (see Newsletter of the IIR No. 36). As an example, the sales of air-to-water heat pumps have topped 120 000 in 2008 in France, compared with 52 800 in 2007, boosted by tax incentives.