13 Aug 2019, 13:37
Julian Wettengel

Switching from oil to gas in home heating systems could save 14 million tonnes CO₂ - study

Clean Energy Wire

The proposal by conservative party head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer for a scrappage premium for old oil heating systems could give a push to the "urgently needed heating transition" in Germany, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) said in a press release. Preliminary results of a study showed that almost half of the 5.8 million buildings with heating oil systems could quickly be connected to nearby gas grids or district heating, which would save 14 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions. Swapping the oil systems for other modern heaters, such as electric heat pumps, could save up to 30 million tonnes CO₂, BDEW added.
The Greens' energy policy spokesperson in the Bundestag, Julia Verlinden, described Kramp-Karrenbauer's proposal as an "alibi activity", noting that the government-owned financing institution KfW already supplied financial support to replace heating systems.

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. Burning natural gas emits less CO₂ than oil, but critics warn that betting on gas for short-term CO2 cuts will perpetuate its use and make it harder and more expensive to reach carbon-neutrality further down the road.

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