Sino-German cooperation promotes heat pump development in China

Standard in support of air-source heat pump development launched

On 27 June, China Energy Conservation Association (CECA) launched a new industrial association standard on hybrid systems combining air-source heat pumps and gas boilers. This will effectively promote the standardization of design, construction and validation of energy-saving home comfort systems for heating, regulate the industry development, and enhance the quality development of heat pump technologies, and thus promoting the healthy development of the industry in China.

GIZ participated in the drafting of the standard, under the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership, and support the involvement of German companies in the drafting of the standard, so that the resulting association standard could incorporate German best practices and experiences on heat pump standardization. The resulting standard is not only of high quality, but also promotes the improvement of open and transparent market conditions of heat pumps industry in China.

Heat pumps enable heat generation with relatively small amounts of electricity. Compared with traditional heating facilities, they are energy-saving, efficient and cost competitive. Heat pumps can be widely applied in residential and commercial buildings, as well as agricultural production. Heat pumps use electric power to extract additional energy from the environment (air or ground). In this way, they can provide a multiple of the electric input energy as heating energy output, usually by a factor of three to five. This means that for 1 kWh of power, heat pumps can generate 3-5 kWh of heat. In comparison, a modern electric resistance heater merely provides 1 kWh of heat for 1 kWh of electricity. Due to their superior energy efficiency, heat pumps offer huge advantages in energy saving and emission reduction over traditional heating methods such as coal and gas.

As China pledged to peak its carbon emission by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, the application and ramp-up of heat pumps can contribute the country’s ambitious climate goal.

Under the framework of the Sino-German Working Group on Energy Efficiency, the Sino-German Energy Partnership is closely working with its partners to support the increased application of heat pumps in China. The project cooperates with the China Heat Pump Alliance, an organization under CECA  and companies and aims at delivering following project outputs:

  • Support on standard improvement to regulate all aspects of the design and installation of heat pump systems in the form of association standards and facilitate the application of high-quality and highly efficient heat pump products designed according to European standards. Such association standards also inform the development of industry standards and national standards, thereby promoting the widespread use of heat pump systems nationwide. GIZ will continue to promote the wider application and recognition of the standard.
  • Technical support for research on the important role of heat pumps in achieving the goal of carbon neutrality, analyzing emission reduction potentials of heat pumps in buildings, industry and agriculture, and to enhance the awareness of heat pumps as a key technology to improve energy efficiency and decarbonize heating and cooling systems. Analysis of German and European research, trends, and experiences on heat pumps, as well as analysis of successful support policies will inform comparable studies in China.

To support China continuously and sustainably to further develop the heat pump industry, the GIZ implemented project plans to expand cooperation on the topic. This includes the promotion of integration of heat pumps and other renewable energy sources, capacity building and standards improvement reflecting the entire heating system instead of individual technologies. These will be continuously pushed forward in close partnership with German and Chinese businesses.

For more information on Sino-German cooperation on heat pumps and sustainable heating, please contact Mr. Philipp Geres (Philipp.geres(at)

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.