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Critical factors in different phases of the Swedish heat pump market development
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Entrepreneurship and innovation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2748-7993
KTH. (KTH Executive School)
2013 (English)In: The Industrial, 2013Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the heat pump was invented in the mid 19th century it has been dependent on technological development of principally five main mechanical components as well as on economic, social and political factors to penetrate the market. It can therefore be useful to describe the heat pump as a sociotechnical system consisting of different components, or sub-systems, to understand how all components must align to achieve market acceptance. While technological and social conditions affecting the heat pump demand are currently in the process of aligning in several European emerging and growing markets, the Swedish heat pump market is slowing down due to signs of market saturation.

Sweden has been a pioneering nation in the field of heat pumps and the heat pump has had a larger market impact in Sweden than anywhere else. Since the birth of the market in the 1970s it has gone through several phases: Growth from 1979, a market collapse in the mid 1980s, a strong growth once more from 1995 to 2006, and a recent decline in sales. This article studies these shifts in market demand by answering the research question: What critical factors have affected the heat pump market in Sweden during different phases of its development? These critical factors have been mapped out through interviews with researchers and industry representatives together with an extensive literature review and analysis of secondary available data such as statistical reviews and research program records.

This article arguments that the market demand has correlated to the alignment of factors in the heat pump sociotechnical system, and that too much focus has previously been on subsidies when trying to explain the causes behind the heat pump market development in Sweden. Subsidies has only been one factor out of many. Understanding the market development of energy technologies such as heat pumps from a sociotechnical perspective is useful knowledge for practitioners and policy makers engaged in emerging energy markets as well as researchers in the field. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Heat Pumps, Technological Systems, Critical Problems
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-139052OAI: diva2:682824
22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference 2013 Reykjavik

QC 20140204

Available from: 2013-12-30 Created: 2013-12-30 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, PetterLagergren, FredrikGöran, Reitberger
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