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FROMAMBITION TOACTION – HowGermany intends to use heat planning for its ambitious Green Agenda

By Christian Bjerrum Jørgensen, Energy Counsellor, Embassy of Denmark, Berlin

By Willy Winkler, Energy Policy Advisor, Embassy of Denmark, Berlin

Eight years, eight months, and counting down – That is how long is left until 2030, a crucial year in German climate and energy policy. By then, Germany wants to have decarbonizedhalfof itsheatingsector.AtaskforwhichtheGermanFederalGovernment attributes district heating a decisive role. A Danish perspective on the German trans- formation: the strategy, the benefits, and challenges to the heating sector.

The German energy transition (“Energiewende”) is a success story. Within only twenty years, Europe’s biggest economy was able to transform its electricity production from being 95% fossil fuel-based to being almost halfway towards climate neu- trality. This is a major achievement, especially considering the electricity sector’s central role in the pursuit of overall decar- bonization.

However, a look at Germany’s heating sector reveals some significant challenges still lie ahead. Accounting for more than 50% of the final energy demand, it does not take advanced statistical skills to realize that there will be no complete energy transition without a heating transition in Germany (“Keine Energiewende ohne Wärmewende”) (Figure 1).

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