19 May 2020, 14:23
Edgar Meza

Industry associations release 4-point plan to green Germany's municipal heating

Clean Energy Wire

A broad alliance of German associations and municipal energy suppliers has presented a four-point roadmap aimed at implementing plans already laid out in the government’s 2030 climate protection package to efficiently convert the country’s municipal heating networks to renewable power supply. A joint press release issued by the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) and independent energy efficiency association AGFW outlines the main measures:

• Further development of the Renewable Energy Heat Bonus and improved incentives for the construction and expansion of heating networks through adjustments in the Combined Heat and Power Act

• Introduction of tenders for large solar thermal collectors and improved legal framework conditions for deep geothermal projects

• Strengthening of industrial policy and introduction of domestic plant construction

• Provision of additional funds for financially weak municipalities

 The associations point out that the proposed measures can largely be financed independently, and therefore additional burdens on already tight public budgets can be avoided.

"The current legal framework is too timid to make full use of the potential of renewable heat on a large scale," says BEE President Simone Peter. "The Renewable Energy Heat Bonus in the Combined Heat and Power Act should therefore be expanded to include heat from wood and biomass as well as all heat sources that can be tapped with large heat pumps. It is also necessary to extend the bonus to district heating systems." The expansion of large solar collectors could be forced through tenders, and improved drilling cost funding and risk hedging for deep geothermal projects are also required, the associations stressed.

Reducing heating emissions in Germany has been a stubborn obstacle to the country's Energiewende. Phasing out fossil-fuelled heating energy efficient renovation in nearly 22 million buildings is seen as essential for Germany to reach its target of climate neutrality by 2050.

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