“Climate goals cannot be achieved without natural gas”

Gerhard König, Chairman of WINGAS, at an industry get-together of the German Energy and Water Association (BDEW) in Berlin.

WINGAS for an environmentally friendly modernization of the heating market.

Berlin/Kassel. “Climate-efficient natural gas systems can reduce energy consumption significantly and improve our carbon footprint. Without natural gas we will not achieve our climate goals in the heating market,” Gerhard König, Chairman of WINGAS, said at an industry get-together of the German Energy and Water Association (BDEW) in Berlin. “Hence, we see an urgent need to modernize the heating market,” König explained.


The restructuring of the heating market is an integral part of the energy turnaround in Germany. After all, the heating market accounts for 40 percent of energy consumption in Germany and about a third of CO2 emissions. The German government has set itself ambitious goals: by 2020 demand for heating in Germany is supposed to fall by 20 percent compared to 2008, and primary energy consumption in the heating sector is supposed to be reduced by a huge 80 percent by 2050. Overall, the federal government intends to achieve almost 50 percent of the CO2 reduction goal through energy savings in the heating market.

“But if the government takes this approach, it must create the right incentive system and reward CO2 reductions – and it must do so cost-effectively while being open to technology,” König said. “Without the political impetus, it will be difficult.”


Heating refurbishments offer enormous potential for reducing CO2

Refurbishing heating systems offers the greatest potential to make effective progress with CO2 reductions. At the moment only about a quarter of the approx. 20 million home heating systems are in line with modern technology. “The use of natural gas-based systems is the most cost-effective way of reducing CO2 emissions. Natural gas heating systems that protect the climate and are also economical – such as micro and mini-CHP systems as well as condensing boilers – are important, and even indispensible technologies to complement building insulation and other approaches for enhanced energy efficiency,” Dr. König said.

According to experts at the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI), about 28 million tons of  CO2 equivalent could be saved in households as soon as 2015 by using new heating systems and gas condensing boilers. That is roughly equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of 3.5 million two-person households.

“Natural gas is the ideal partner for renewable energies, not just in the electricity market, but also in the heating market. Gas-based solutions are quick to install and economical to run. Hence, they offer excellent prospects for restructuring the heating market,” König explained.

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