Germany is on the brink of a transformative shift in its energy landscape with the impending implementation of the new regulation under the Building Energy Act (GEG), set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
One of the key provisions raising eyebrows is the requirement that anyone replacing an existing heating system must ensure their new system operates in a proportionately climate-neutral manner by 2029. However, recent warnings from the Weiden Consumer Advice Center caution against relying on hydrogen as a viable replacement.
The primary goal of the new GEG regulation is to steer private households toward climate-neutral heating systems. Starting in 2029, a significant share, at least 65 percent, of renewable energy is mandated for new heating installations. This ambitious target aligns with Germany’s broader commitment to reducing carbon emissions and fostering sustainable energy practices.
While some manufacturers tout “hydrogen-ready” heaters, capable of handling a 20 percent hydrogen content in natural gas, the looming regulatory shift challenges the efficacy of such solutions. The law’s demand for a minimum 65 percent renewable energy share renders these “hydrogen-ready” heaters insufficient. The crux of the matter, as highlighted by the Weidener Energieberatung of the Bavarian Consumer Center, is the absence of products on the market that can be converted to operate on 100 percent hydrogen.
Currently, Germany’s hydrogen infrastructure is in the nascent planning stages, with these expansion areas yet to be established. The potential unavailability of hydrogen and the lack of infrastructure raise crucial questions about the practicality of relying on hydrogen for residential heating.