HOT|COOL NO.1/2016 "COP21"


By Dipl.-Mgr. Ing. Maria Grajcar, MA, Europe and International, AGFW

$ 100 billion annually should be scaled up by developed countries to finance climate change mitigation in developing countries by 2020. € 40 billion ($ 44.5 billion) in total would be enough to realize an ambitious goal in Germany: 70 % of district heating share in 70 the most highly populated German cities. The author of the article examines how a new 70/70-Strategy fits into the framework of the Paris Agreement from the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (“Framework Convention on Climate Change”).

Assumptions The authors of the study reckon with a considerable decrease in heat demand in big cities; however, this will be lower in relation to Germany on the whole. The future attractiveness of large cities like Dresden and Munich will contribute to an increase in their population. Regarding economic boundary conditions, assumptions mostly correspond to the one ones used in the CHP potential study made for the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, reckoning with a wholesale electricity price (base load) at EUR 42/MWh in 2020 and at EUR 67/MWh in 2030. It was also assumed that the CHP Act would continue to be in force with an unlimited subsidy budget.

The COP 21 Agreement invites all parties to communicate their contribution in order to fall within the least-cost 2 Celsius scenarios. A prerequisite for a successful Paris Agreement is the ability of the developed countries (the OECD) to support developing countries with $ 100 billion a year. Germany, as the first state, announced a doubling of its financial resources available to approx. € 4 billion annually already in May 2015, followed by France and the UK. All things considered, pledges still seem to fall short of reaching the $ 100 billion target by 2020. Leaving aside the totally different expectations from both camps (developed countries vs. developing countries, the latter most affected by the climate change), Parties share a vision on the importance of technology development and transfer under Article 10. Moreover, Parties are invited to communicate their greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies. Technology and greenhouse gas reduction strategies are two main concepts of the agreement with a link to the district heating sector. Last year the Managing Board of the AGFW approached the issue with its 70/70 Strategy. Simple question capturing our imagination What if the 70 most highly populated German cities 1 were to provide 70 % of their buildings (heating and hot water) with high efficient district heating?“ What national, economical and regional effects are to be expected? And how would this share contribute to “Energiewende” goals? Authors of the study considered two scenarios: Business as Usual (BAU) and Renewable Energy Scenario (RES). In both schemes, about 90 % of the expansion is expected to be observed in the old states of Germany and about half would be carried out in the cities with a population of more than 350,000 2 . In order to achieve the interim target of a 55% district heating share by 2030 it will be necessary to invest as much as possible into the expansion of the distribution network before 2030; since connecting new customers will take at least 10 years.

1 The total heat demand of the considered cities amounts to 731 PJ or approx. 30 % of the total heat demand of residential and non-residential buildings in Germany. The current average share of district heating in these cities is 18% compared to the total German average of 10.4 %. 2 District heating is already being significantly expanded in some large cities like Munich, Mannheim, Frankfurt or Dresden.

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