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Instead of heat pumps? Three times as many district heating house connections possible

2023-06-05T11:50:45.365Z

Highlights: Currently, around 6 million of the 43 million homes are heated with district heating. In the future, the aim is to reach 18 to 20 million, especially in apartment buildings in cities and densely populated areas. A large number of renewable sources and technologies could be connected to district heating infrastructure, which would enable the climate neutrality of heating networks by 2045. The district heating industry is calling for longer transitional periods and significantly more funding, especially for the "Federal Funding for Efficient Heating Networks" (BEW) program.



A solar thermal power plant: The district heating industry is looking to the coming years with confidence. © Soeren Stache / dpa

The district heating industry is optimistic about the future: by 2050, the number of households connected to the heating network could triple. However, this also requires suitable framework conditions.

Frankfurt/Main – The district heating industry believes that it is possible to triple the number of households connected to the heating network by 2050. "To do this, however, the companies need planning security and suitable funding conditions," said the deputy managing director of the trade association AGFW, John Miller, the German Press Agency.

Currently, around 6 million of the 43 million homes are heated with district heating. In the future, the aim is to reach 18 to 20 million, especially in apartment buildings in cities and densely populated areas. "District heating is the key to the topic of climate-neutral cities in Germany. Now is exactly the right time to set the course."

Large-scale heat pumps, biomass, etc.: Old district heating networks with new sources

A large number of renewable sources and technologies could be connected to district heating infrastructure, which would enable the climate neutrality of heating networks by 2045, Miller emphasized. As examples, he cited large-scale heat pumps, geothermal energy, solar thermal energy, biomass or waste heat from industry or data centers.

In this context, he highlighted the leverage effect of a switch to renewable energies. If, for example, a coal-fired combined heat and power plant were then operated with climate-neutral fuels or replaced by climate-neutral technologies, thousands of residential units would suddenly have changed fuel.

Around 3800 district heating networks nationwide

Miller spoke positively about the importance given to heating networks in the planned laws on building energy and municipal heat planning. "We are glad that politicians have now woken up to some extent and focused on district heating networks." The association criticises the timetable provided for in the Building Energy Act to convert existing heating networks to at least 2030 percent renewable heat or waste heat by 50. "We don't think it's a good idea to set a deadline for all heating networks," Miller said. The association is calling for longer transitional periods and significantly more funding, especially for the "Federal Funding for Efficient Heating Networks" (BEW) program.

According to AGFW, there are around 3800 district heating networks in Germany, which are operated by around 500 companies. The AGFW describes itself as an "energy efficiency association for heating, cooling and combined heat and power". Around 640 companies are members, including most district heating providers. (dpa, lf)

Source: merkur

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