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Promoting the Application of Heat Pumps in China to Contribute to Energy Decarbonization

Sino-German Business Roundtable on High Temperature Heat Pumps

On 16 May 2022, GIZ and China Heat Pump Alliance (CHPA) jointly organized the “Sino-German High Temperature Heat Pump Round Table” under the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership. 

The event allowed German and Chinese business representatives to present their high temperature heat pump solutions – along with application cases – to energy service companies and other potential users. Furthermore, it enabled participants to discuss the existing challenges and necessary policy support for promoting the application of high temperature heat pumps in China.

Heat pumps are a main technology for energy system decarbonization and are more energy efficient than electric, coal or gas boilers. They can be climate neutral if they use renewables and climate friendly refrigerants. Heat pumps are not only solutions for space heating, but high temperature heat pumps which can achieve temperatures above 80°C can provide heat for industrial processes in industries like food, paper, or chemicals. However, as a promising technology for sustainable heating and energy decarbonization, the technology application field and market for high temperature heat pumps in China are still quite novel and there is a great need for more exchange between producers and potential users.

During the event, German and Chinese experts from dena and Shanghai Jiaotong University shared the development of high temperature heat pumps in China and Germany in terms of technology, emission reduction potentials and relevant policy support. This was followed by high temp heat pump technology & solution introduction by invited German and Chinese companies, including MAN Energy Solutions, Siemens Energy and Shanghai Nuotong New Energy. Industrial heat pumps in Germany can now reach 150 degrees and mostly see application on a scale of one megawatt of power or above. Meanwhile, in China currently mainly medium and high temperature heat pumps are predominant, with capacities mostly below one megawatt.

The following discussion around market development in China and policy support shows that the major needs for speeding up future market roll-out are 1) more pilot projects to showcase high temperature heat pump technology solutions, 2) subsidies for the short term and policy support (for example, electricity tariff subsidies and carbon pricing) for the long term to address the high investment costs and create the confidence necessary to enter long investment life cycles. Regarding the potential for Sino-German cooperation, companies suggest that the cooperation in the field of standards alignment should be strengthened, as China currently lacks relevant standards for design and system efficiency in medium and high temperature heat pumps.

Sino-German cooperation on sustainable heating/heat pump

In China, industry accounts for 60% of the total energy consumption, among which 50% come from heating sector. Yet the low carbon heating transition is challenging as it  is more dependent on investment decisions of individual households and companies and has received relatively less attention in policymaking and faces different economics than the transition in the power sector. The heating transition therefore requires an effective policy framework as well as clean and affordable heating solutions. Hence, within the Sino-German Energy Partnership, both countries share and exchange on policies, innovative solutions, and best practices for driving the decarbonization of the heating sector.

As an energy-saving and emission-reducing heating technology, heat pumps have been one major focus in recent bilateral exchanges. To support China continuously and sustainably to further develop the heat pump industry, the Energy Partnership continues deepening and expanding cooperation on the topic. This includes

  • the promotion of integration of heat pumps and other renewable energy sources in terms of technological solutions and policy frameworks
  • capacity building and improvements to standards on measuring system efficiency
  • encouraging and engaging German and Chinese businesses for the above exchanges
  • showcasing technology applications

More on previous/ongoing activities:

  • Co-drafting the White Paper on Heat Pumps for Carbon Neutrality (2021),
  • Aligning heat pump industry standards by participating in the drafting of an association standard for air-source heat pump system design with input from German companies and experts
  • Preparing a project under Germany’s “DeveloPPP” Program, jointly implemented with German companies to showcase and support the development of heat pumps in China.

For more information on Sino-German cooperation on sustainable heating/heat pump, please contact:

Mr. Philipp Geres ( in Germany


Ms. Yuan Zhen ( in China

Photo source: Adobe Stock/277324710

Sino-German Energy Partnership

The Sino-German Energy Partnership links three levels of action: high-level policy dialogue, business-to-government exchange and an exchange of experiences on technical and regulatory solutions that promote the energy transition. The main aim of the partnership is to foster and advance the far-reaching and profound energy transitions ongoing in both China and Germany by exchanging views, best practices and knowledge on the development of a sustainable energy system, primarily centered on improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy.