17 Apr 2023, 13:50
Sören Amelang

Consumer groups warn against “hydrogen ready” gas boilers

Der Spiegel

Gas boilers sold as "hydrogen ready" deceive consumers and are set to cost buyers dearly, according to German consumer organisations. Hydrogen produced with renewables will only be available in small quantities for the foreseeable future, umbrella group vzbv said in a statement on government plans to decarbonise the heating sector, seen by Spiegel. According to current government plans, every newly installed heating system must be powered by at least 65 percent renewable energy "if possible" from next year. However, hydrogen-ready gas-fired boilers will be allowed, too. But the vzbv warned consumers against buying these systems in the belief that they could run on 65 percent renewable hydrogen in the coming years.

According to the scientific consensus, hydrogen will not play a significant role in the decarbonisation of the heating sector in 2030, and maybe not even in 2045, vzbv said. "And even if enough green hydrogen were to be available in the long term, experts point out that it would be significantly more expensive for consumers than, for example, switching to heat pumps." The consumer association considers "H2-ready" heating systems unsuitable for the time being also because many of the current models on offer cannot even be fired exclusively with hydrogen, but only with a maximum admixture of 20 to 30 percent, said vzbv energy expert Thomas Engelke. "Consumer deception must be countered by full transparency," the vzbv statement said, according to the article.

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