The German government has passed a law to ban new fossil heating installations starting in 2024. The move is part of Germany’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and shift towards clean energy.
Currently, 30 million homes in Germany are heated using fossil fuels, making the buildings sector a significant contributor to the country’s carbon footprint.
Germany aims to switch to clean heating to reduce its carbon emissions, following the lead of other European countries like France, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Starting in 2024, new heating systems must run on at least 65% renewable energy, effectively banning gas and oil heaters. The requirement can only be met by using heat pumps that efficiently concentrate ambient heat, alongside hybrid heat pumps with a fossil backup, district heating, and biomass.
However, the role of hydrogen heating in this transition remains controversial, as experts argue that the current cost of burning hydrogen for warmth is too high. Homeowners who want to use hydrogen as a heating source can do so, provided their gas provider submits a binding plan to supply the home with hydrogen from 2030. Despite this, the scarcity of affordable hydrogen remains a concern.
The German government plans to support the transition to clean heating by providing baseline support of 30%, with extra funds available for early adoption and support for those struggling financially. Those who switch to full-electric heat pumps will receive an additional 10% support, and low-interest loans of up to €60,000 will be made available to help buffer the up-front costs. The government aims to install 500,000 heat pumps annually from 2024, up from 200,000 in 2022.
The move towards clean heating is a significant step towards achieving Germany’s climate goals. However, the proposed law has faced pushback from business-friendly FDP lawmakers, who are concerned about the cost and feasibility of the switch. As the law awaits approval by the German parliament, further changes may be made to address these concerns.