09 Feb 2022, 13:01
Sören Amelang

Germans mainly opt for fossil fuel heating systems, but heat pumps on the rise

Clean Energy Wire

Demand for low-emission heating systems is rising rapidly in Germany, but a large majority of buyers are still opting for installations powered by fossil fuels. Sales of heat pumps rose 28 percent to 154,000 units last year, while demand for systems burning biomass such as pellets jumped 51 percent to 53,000 units, the Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH) said. Gas heaters remained the most popular heating system by far. Their sales rose five percent to 653.000 units, more than 70 percent of the total market, which grew 10 percent to 929,000 units thanks to attractive subsidy programs, according to the lobby group.  "After decades of modernization backlog, we now see that people are willing to invest in climate protection,” said BDH President Uwe Glock.

German homes are fossil energy guzzlers – a big hurdle on the path to greenhouse gas neutrality. Nearly two thirds still heat with fossil fuels, and most of them also need to be modernised to lower energy demand. The heating sector has enormous potential to cut CO2 emissions, but progress has been extremely slow. In its coalition agreement, the new government said that as of 2025, every new heating system has to be operated on 65 percent renewable energies, which would rule out conventional oil and gas systems.

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