09 Apr 2021, 12:18
Edgar Meza

Expansion of district heating network vital to reach climate targets – BDEW

Clean Energy Wire

Climate targets in the heating and building sector can only be achieved by expanding and renovating district heating networks, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) says in a new report. The importance of green district heating for a climate-neutral heat supply in urban areas will grow strongly until 2050, according to the report, which was carried out by the Hamburg Institut (HI) and the Research Center for Energy Economics (FfE) in Munich on behalf of the BDEW. The HI and FfE focussed on the transformation of the district heating supply structure through the integration of climate-neutral heat, the lowering of network temperatures and the integration of heat storage. More specifically, it found that climate goals in the heating and building sector could only be achieved by expanding and converting district heating networks through an increase of the proportions of climate-neutral heat from large heat pumps, waste heat, power-to-heat (PtH), solar thermal and geothermal energy.

"The expansion and conversion of district heating towards the use of renewable energy sources requires reliable legal framework conditions and a stable set of financing instruments," said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. The Federal Funding for Efficient Heating Networks programme “forms the core of this change process and must include the funding of all relevant decarbonization options as well as network transformation measures," Andreae added. At least 1 billion euros per year by 2030 is necessary to achieve this, the BDEW noted. The share of renewables in Germany's district heating rose to 17.8 percent last year from 7.8 percent a decade ago, according to the BDEW.

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