24 Sep 2019, 13:39
Freja Eriksen

Only a quarter of German heating systems use renewable energy – industry association

Clean Energy Wire

The share of renewable energy in German heat demand has stagnated at around 13 to 14 percent for the past seven years, said German Solar Association (BSW). Only one in every four new heating systems in the country uses renewable energy, said the association, which called on the government to improve its recent climate action package by setting minimum standards for the use of renewable energies in the modernisation of heating systems. "Climate policy-wise it is embarrassing that only every fourth new heating system uses solar, bio- or geothermal energy," said Carsten Körnig, head of BSW, adding that "subsidies alone cannot change this”. BSW called for an introductory CO2 price at 60 euros per tonne which would gradually rise. The German government coalition last week agreed on a climate strategy paper, which would introduce CO2 allowances at 10 euros per tonne from 2021 and then gradually increases the price to 35 euros by 2025.

Half of the roughly 42 million homes in Germany are heated with natural gas, a quarter with oil, 14 percent through district heating and the rest with electricity, electric heat pumps and biomass, according to data for 2018 by BDEW. The German government's newly agreed climate strategy promises that the cost of replacing old heating systems can be reduced by up to 20 percent through tax deduction. While the government plans to legally ban the installation of new oil-fired heating systems by 2026 if more climate-friendly alternatives are available, a "swap premium" for old oil-fired heating systems will also repay up to 40 percent of the costs for a new and more efficient system.

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