German engineers' association urges quick boost of heating sector transition
Clean Energy Wire
The Association of German Engineers (VDI) calls for legal, regulatory and economic framework conditions to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy sources in the heating sector. These could include a significantly increased CO2 price, an increase in the quota for renewable energy sources for heat generation, a ban on the use of fossil fuels and mandatory rooftop solar system installations for new buildings, VDI said in a new report on Germany’s heating transition. In the report titled “Building Blocks for a Climate-Neutral Heat Supply”, the VDI outlined how Germany can transform its heat supply to achieve climate neutrality in the sector. “Energy-efficient building renovation, optimised system design and intelligent control offer great potential for efficiency,” the VDI said, noting that new digital technologies enable comprehensive monitoring, automatic identification of inefficiencies and optimization of heating systems. The VDI says a climate-neutral heat supply should maintains a high level of supply security, keep costs down, enable a seamless integration of the heating sector into the overall energy system, and have a stabilizing effect on other energy sectors.
Without the energy transition in the heating sector, the German government's goal of climate neutrality by 2045 cannot be achieved, the VDI states. The heating transition is still at the very beginning, however. More than 80 percent of Germany’s heat supply is still based on fossil fuels and that has hardly changed in the last decade. In 2019, space heating, process heat and hot water accounted for more than half of energy consumption in Germany, while air conditioning accounted for just half a percent. Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this year also called for Germany to step up renewables expansion in the heating sector.