In the coming years, Germany will provide more than three billion euros in subsidy for collective district heating from sustainable energy sources. The subsidy is also intended to accelerate the construction of 'green' biogas installations.
Germany wants to be completely independent of the import of oil and gas from Russia within three years, and thus also significantly reduce its CO2 emissions.
The new subsidy program for both the conversion of existing district heating and the construction of new climate-neutral networks received the green light from Brussels this week. The European Commission does not regard such subsidies as anti-competitive state aid.
The German state aid is aimed not only at the large energy suppliers and municipalities, but also at private cooperatives or registered associations that can receive subsidies for investments in heat networks.
Especially in cities and densely populated areas, connection to climate-neutral district heating is the best solution to get rid of oil and gas heating, both individual and collective, according to the German centre-left traffic light coalition.
Germany is more than three quarters dependent on imports from Russia for energy. To reduce that, Berlin is seizing every opportunity. In addition to the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), plans are being made to keep coal-fired power stations open for longer. Postponing the closure of nuclear power plants is also apparently negotiable, as is drilling for natural gas in the North Sea.
Last week, Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (Greens) announced plans for major energy savings, including expansion of offshore wind turbines, solar panel parks and installations for biogas production. The current limits on the annual maximum production (and other legal obstacles) are suspended by decree.