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27 Feb 2020, 14:35
Freja Eriksen

Gas-fired heating still top seller as industry awaits boost for climate-friendly technologies

Clean Energy Wire

The German heating industry saw sales increase for the third year in a row in 2019, with nearly 175,000 heating systems sold, said the Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH). Gas-fired heating systems continued to be the main driver of growth, making up almost 80 percent of sales, a share that rose slightly compared to 2018. The industry association, however, expects that tax incentives, which entered into force in 2020, could boost sales of more climate-friendly heating systems this year. "Especially for heat pumps, wood pellet heating systems and gas condensing boiler technology in combination with solar thermal energy, we expect a significant plus this year," said Uwe Glock, president of the BDH. A growth rate of up to ten percent for systems that combine efficiency with renewable energy is possible, said the BDH. Sales of oil-fired heating systems fell by 17 percent in 2019. The German government has recently banned the installation of oil-fired heating systems in most German buildings.

Germany's heating sector is a major energy consumer and will have to cut emissions if the country is to reach its target of climate neutrality by 2050. The BDH estimates that around 32 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved every year if Germany's estimated 12 million outdated heating systems were modernised. This would be enough to realise two-thirds of the emissions reduction targeted in the building sector by 2030. Experts, however, warn that the country's rising share of gas-fired installations could lead to a so-called lock-in effect, as most heating systems installed today will be in place for decades to come.

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