3.3.2 Early deployment of hybrid heating solutions
Hybrid heat pumps are a hybrid heating solution that combine a small electric heat pump with a gas boiler. This combination reduces insulation costs (no need for deep renovation of the building envelope) and heating technology costs (application of smaller heat pumps), while requiring only a small amount of renewable gas.2 Hybrid heat pumps also reduce stress on the electricity system, especially during times with low temperatures (e.g. winter heating peaks) where the efficiency of electric heat pumps reduces by up to 75%.2 This can be counterbalanced by use of renewable gas in a hybrid heat pump system.
Overall, heat pumps only make up a small share of residential heating solutions in Europe. Around 1.3 million households purchased different types of heat pumps in 2018, a number that has grown significantly—12% yearly average growth—since 2015.155 Less than 10% of all EU buildings use heat pumps for heat generation.156 Hybrid heat pump adoption is even more limited, with around 18,000 installed units in Europe in 2017.157 Hybrid heat pump adoption has been increasing in the EU over the last few years (Figure 3.20), with most adoption in Italy followed by France.157