21 Feb 2023, 13:29
Carolina Kyllmann

Delayed draft law to increase renewable energy use in German heating making ‘good progress’ – media

Tagesspiegel Background / ARD

A draft law that would require all newly installed heating systems in Germany to run on 65 percent renewable energy from 2024 is making “good progress” after many delays, energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background reported. In March 2022, the government had agreed to introduce legislation stipulating that the 65 percent target – which was already foreseen in the federal government’s coalition agreement for 2025 – be brought forward by a year “if possible”. The proposal requires a “small” amendment to the Building Energy Act (Gebäudeenergiegesetzes, GEG) that the economy and climate protection ministry (BMWK) and the buildings ministry (BMWBS) would have to agree to - this is currently being finalised, Tagesspiegel Background said. Initially, the ministries planned to pass the amendment last summer “so that planning and investment security is created in good time for the affected owners, but also for the industry and skilled workers,” according to an implementation concept.

Consumers and installers are eagerly awaiting clear legal regulations, public broadcaster ARD reported. “There is uncertainty not only among customers, but also among some of the companies,” Mirko Karkowsky from the Saarland Consumer Advice Centre told the broadcaster. “They want to advise customers properly and fully, but they cannot do so while the legal situation remains unclear.” Heat pumps, municipal heating networks (with plans for heat to be generated in a climate-neutral way in the long term), biomass heating and gas boilers that can run on biomethane or green hydrogen could all play a role in achieving the 65 percent target, without the first three having priority as was initially proposed, according to Tagesspiegel Background.

Over 80 percent of Germany’s heating demand is met with fossil fuels, which largely need to be imported, according to a BMWK report. Increasing the share of renewable energy in the heating sector, together with increased energy efficiency, would therefore guarantee security of supply, align with climate targets and help to keep heating affordable, according to the ministry. How the 65 percent target will be implemented is still unclear, Tagesspiegel Background reported. Germany’s building stock should become climate neutral by 2045.

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