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Excitement about the end of oil and gas heating: "Denmark has been doing this since 2013"


The energy turnaround is only failing due to a lack of will, says expert Volker Quaschning. Another country is already installing twenty times more heat pumps than Germany, even though it has gas en masse itself.

The energy turnaround is only failing due to a lack of will, says expert Volker Quaschning.

Another country is already installing twenty times more heat pumps than Germany, even though it has gas en masse itself.

Cologne – Things are happening in quick succession at the moment: First, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) presented his plan, according to which at least 65 percent of newly installed heating systems will be operated from renewable energies from 2024 – de facto the end for new gas and oil heating systems.

Then the European Parliament followed suit.

In the future, owners of old buildings will be forced to renovate their houses in terms of energy efficiency.

High time to ask Volker Quaschning, an expert on renewable energies.

He classifies the political decisions and explains why Germany is not in a position to point the finger at other countries.

Mr. Quaschning, how do you heat?

With pellets.

Everyone smiled at us back then, neighbors and even the chimney sweep.

Why not a heat pump?

They weren't that mature 20 years ago.

We were asked rather: Why no gas heating?

And why do you build climate neutral?

That was absolutely exotic.

Our house is perfectly insulated, I have heating costs of 500 euros a year.

Then the increased prices don't affect you that much?

Well, indirectly yes.

First I spent a lot of money to build climate-neutral and to protect myself from such scenarios.

And now I'm still financing the gas price brake with my taxes.

But I like to show solidarity with poorer people who are under a lot of pressure.

With a new law, Robert Habeck is now making it practically impossible to install oil or gas heating from 2024.

The right decision?

She is logical.

We are not pioneers when it comes to renewable energies, even if we like to pretend to be.

Oil and gas heating was banned in Denmark in 2013.

We hesitated for years and found excuses, now it's getting all the more expensive.

Many people are afraid.

I can understand that.

But: Just because we've done something wrong for years and have accepted that the situation will get worse and the solution will become more expensive, we can't race towards the abyss with our eyes wide open.

Let's look at Norway, a gas producing country.

There they have managed to ensure that 60 percent of the heating systems now have a heat pump - in Germany we are at a miserable three percent.

Doesn't that already fail because of such worldly things as craftsmen and resources?

They are also missing if you want to install a new gas heater.

Many craftsmen are not yet very experienced when it comes to installing heat pumps.

But that will work itself out over time.

The discussion reminds me of the debate about the introduction of the catalyst.

At the time, lobbyists from the automotive industry were spreading the narrative that it couldn't be done and that hundreds of thousands of jobs were at risk.

Then it turned out differently.


Volker Quaschning studied electrical engineering in Karlsruhe.

© Janine Escher

Volker Quaschning: "Why doesn't Christian Lindnder make a winning topic out of the energy transition?"

What do you actually think of the “last generation”?

We need majorities.

Sticking to the road does not raise awareness of the traffic turnaround.

On the other hand, the "Last Generation" shows exactly what many do not want to see.

Those who complain the loudest about it are usually the ones with the worst plan for more climate protection.

Overall, the "Last Generation" has managed to ensure that the issue of environmental protection and sustainability is on the agenda everywhere in Germany.

But we also need the decision-makers.

What do you think of their timetable?

The federal government is planning 100 percent green electricity by 2035 and general climate neutrality by 2045.

The goals are too unambitious - and will not even be achieved with the current measures.

You were very happy after the general election.

The party that has neglected climate protection for years has finally been voted out - and now those who are serious are at the helm.

I think that there are definitely positive signals from the Green Ministry of Economic Affairs.

What I did not expect is the resistance of the FDP.

I just don't understand why Christian Lindner doesn't see the energy transition as a winning topic.

New technologies, new jobs, economic growth - that touches the core of liberal politics.

Currently one has the impression that the only contribution of the FDP in the climate debate is that they want to be perceived as the party that prevents the speed limit.

Anyone who observes the debate about responsibility can identify two camps.

Some hold the individual accountable, others call for bans.

What is the right way?


I can see that every single person has a responsibility.

That's why I don't fly anymore and eat vegan.

But it won't work without the big solution either.

If we rely on voluntariness for heat pumps, it won't work.

In this respect, Habeck's proposal is correct.

Reference is often made to other countries, which should first follow suit.

Germany is already a pioneer.

Is that correct?

We're in the middle.

But if we look at the per capita emissions, we are among the biggest climate sinners.

In absolute terms, we are in seventh place – ahead of us are countries like China, the USA and India.

Sounds like Germany did almost everything wrong.

We have already achieved quite a bit, for example in the expansion of solar and wind energy.

However, we are too slow.

If we don't pick up the pace - we'd have to be five times as fast - we won't be carbon neutral until the late second half of the century.

Then we would break all climate targets and exceed fatal tipping points.

There is a climate protection ranking by Germanwatch.

The first three places are always vacant because no country manages to meet the Paris climate protection goals.

Then come the Scandinavian countries and other countries such as India or Morocco.

Germany only comes in 16th place.

To person

Professor Volker Quaschning was born in 1969.

He is an engineer and professor for regenerative energy systems at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) in Berlin.

Quaschning is part of the "Scientists For Future" movement.

Most recently, the book "Energierevolution NOW!" was published, which he wrote together with his wife Cornelia.

Referendum in Berlin: "It's not enough to paint a few bike paths on the street"

What are you doing on March 26th?

I'll be curious to see whether the people of Berlin decide to do a lot of climate protection.

I hope they do.

The referendum envisages amending the Berlin Climate Protection and Energy Transition Act of August 27, 2021.

So far, this has set the goal of reducing CO₂ emissions in the state of Berlin by 95 percent by 2045 compared to 1990.

Instead, the initiative proposes that Berlin commit to achieving this goal by 2030.

A realistic goal?

That's the wrong question.

If we don't manage that, we will breach the much-vaunted 1.5-degree limit - with fatal consequences.

To put it bluntly: there is no lack of technical know-how in Germany for ambitious goals, no money or any other pretended argument.

The only thing missing is the will.

With the necessary determination, we can still avert the climate catastrophe.

How is Berlin supposed to do that?

Of course, it is not enough to paint a few cycle paths on the street or to philosophize about e-fuels.

We need far-reaching and rapid changes in traffic and housing, which in the end not only protect the climate, but also make our city much more liveable.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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