EU has approved the €3 billion German Green Heating Scheme for the implementation of green district heating until 2026.
For the new German administration, hopes have been high. The biggest floods to batter the nation in 500 years, coupled with increased climate change concern, helped the German Greens boost their parliamentary representation in the September elections.
The Greens’ performance was not enough to give them the chancellorship, but it gave them a lot of negotiating power, which they pledged to use to get some of their extreme climate change agenda passed.
They came close to keeping their promise. The party presented a three-way coalition deal with the center-left Social Democrats, whose leader Olaf Scholz will follow Angela Merkel as chancellor, and economic liberals, the Free Democrats.
The agreement includes a slew of initiatives to reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are still high when compared to many of its neighbors in Europe due to its heavily industrialized economy and heavier reliance on coal.
The initiatives include a pledge to significantly increase renewable energy consumption, dedicating 2% of national land to the cause; a goal to phase out coal by 2030, eight years sooner than anticipated; and a strategy to deploy the foreign policy to influence climate change overseas.
Sven Giegold, a Green member of the European Parliament who was part of the party’s core coalition negotiation team, claims that “we are in command of all important energy and climate ministries” and that “we have a full roadmap for a post-fossil future based on renewable energy.”
However, several climate activists expressed their frustration with the mystery surrounding the timescale for Germany’s projected phase-out of fossil fuels. People had anticipated, for instance, that the deal would specify a cutoff point for the use of natural gas, a fossil fuel that Germany and other European nations are increasingly relying on as a “bridge fuel” to lessen their short-term reliance on more polluting coal and oil.
The gas pledges were deemed “very unsatisfactory” and “a squandered moment for Germany to send unambiguous indications” to energy markets by the European Environmental Bureau, a network of advocacy organizations and NGOs.
To make this possible, according to Agrar Heute, the Federal Funding for Efficient Heat Networks (BEW) will start in the middle of September and will allocate €2.98 billion for the implementation of green district heating until 2026.
Energy supply businesses, local governments, and cooperatives can all get financing for heating network investments. “Green district heating networks are the key to climate-neutral heating and are crucial to lowering our dependency on fossil fuel imports,” stated Economy Minister Robert Habek.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s commissioner for competition, said that the legislation advances the objectives of the European Green Deal. Germany will lower its CO2 emissions by using more renewable energy and waste heat for heating.
Due to its extensive lignite coal deposits, which it has historically relied upon to secure its energy independence, Germany, the fourth-largest user of coal in the world, has fallen considerably behind its western European neighbors in the phasing out of the fuel. In the first half of 2021, coal accounted for more than a quarter of German electricity output.
According to estimates, the initiative will help produce 681 MW of thermal energy from renewable sources per year. According to ecologists, up to 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year might be avoided.
There is not a single heating standard in Germany. Varied areas have different forms of heating; however, central heating is uncommon, mostly in big cities. The rural population, where heating problems are often handled on an individual basis, is the target audience for this campaign.