German climate think tanks propose path to rapid building sector heating transition
Clean Energy Wire
Agora Energiewende* and the Climate Neutrality Foundation have unveiled a roadmap aimed at facilitating the necessary heating transition to make the building sector climate neutral by 2045, as mandated in Germany’s Climate Action Law. The think tanks’ proposals aim to increase the speed of renovations, accelerate the market ramp-up of heat pumps, expand local heating networks and provide social compensation for related costs. “In 2020, the building sector was the only area that failed to meet its climate target, and a shortfall is likely for 2021 as well,” says Agora Energiewende Executive Director Patrick Graichen. “We therefore need a clear strategy for climate neutrality in the building sector right at the beginning of the new legislative period, which organises a balance of interests between the actors and contains effective measures for CO₂-free heating.”
In order to achieve a climate-neutral heating and warming system, the think tanks recommend increasing the rate of renovations with new energy standards and consistent funding, making heat pumps competitive with rising CO₂ prices and falling electricity prices, creating social balance between building owners and tenants with the introduction of so-called warm rents that would incentivise climate-friendly renovations, and the strategic planning of municipal heating, including the increased use of heat pumps and the establishment of green local and district heating networks.
*Like Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is funded by the Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation