Danish industrial group Danfoss has invested DKK 1bn (USD 200m) in acquisitions of heat pump manufacturers over the last couple of years, which has made the company an European leader in the sector. Danfoss has now set its sights on a market forecast to grow by 30% in the next few years.
A new report from international consulting group Cowi shows that heat pumps are the cheapest way to make CO2 savings. "There is both money and CO2 to save by replacing oil-fired furnaces with heat pumps, and the report's conclusions are in accordance with our own calculations," Nikolaj Stig Nielsen, chief consultant of Danfoss' heat division told financial daily newspaper Børsen.
"For the time being we are focusing on Europe, where there is a market potential of several billion kroner. The challenge for us right now is to communicate to consumers that this solution exists," Stig Nielsen said.
Solar radiation puts large amounts of energy into the air, the ground, and water. A heat pump exploits this energy and does it so efficiently that the heating cost of a house can be substantially reduced. Danfoss makes water-based heat pumps which can easily be connected to the radiator system of a house.
"A private household can save 50-70% on its energy bill if traditional forms of heating like oil and gas are replaced by a heat pump," commented Nikolaj Stig Nielsen.
Danfoss employs 450 people in its heat pump division. In 2005, the company acquired the Swedish manufacturer Thermia, and the Danish group has since bought up factories in France, Switzerland, Norway and most recently the Danish heat pump factory KH Nordterm. Danfoss has also started producing heat pumps at an existing factory in Poland.