Heating manufacturer sees hydrogen as a solution to sector’s inefficiency
As the need for energy transition across all sectors is made more urgent by the fight against climate change, Germany's leading heating and air conditioning manufacturer Vaillant must restructure its business to remain competitive in an increasingly decarbonised world, writes Daniel Wetzel in an article for Die Welt. The company increased its sales by six percent this year, with gas condensing boiler systems designed to burn natural gas with growing proportions of climate-neutral hydrogen. "Hydrogen is an elegant method of storing electrical energy," says Vailliant CEO Norbert Schiedeck. "Our new appliances can already burn natural gas with a hydrogen content of up to 30 percent without any problems." According to figures from the Federal Association of the German Heating Industry (BDH), around 12 million of the 21 million boilers in Germany do not meet current standards. Although natural gas is a fossil fuel, Vaillant believes that if more and more green electricity is used to produce hydrogen in the future, a hydrogen admixture could gradually make natural gas "greener."
In the building sector, not enough progress has been made so far in terms of CO2 reduction, but Germany is under pressure to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030. Emissions from buildings must be reduced by at least 66 percent compared to 1990 levels (2018: -44 percent), according to the government's Climate Action Plan 2050. Earlier this year, federal interior minister Horst Seehofer, who is also responsible for buildings, cancelled plans to set up a commission that was supposed to propose ways to cut carbon emissions in the sector. However, Seehofer proposed making the climate-friendly renovation of older buildings tax deductible in order to help bring down emissions in the sector. Seehofer is expected to present his first proposals on emissions reduction in heating during the climate cabinet meeting on 29 May.