According to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, more than two-thirds (67.2 percent) of all new residential buildings completed in 2019 are wholly or partially heated using renewable sources. That’s a new record.
At the same time, renewables were the primary energy source in nearly half (47.7 percent) of Germany’s 108,000 new residential buildings.
These developments are part of a longer-term decrease in the share of house builders choosing natural gas as the primary heating system for houses and apartments in Germany. In 2019, for the first time, heat pumps, either ground- or air-source, overtook gas as the most commonly installed primary heating system in newly completed residential buildings.
What’s more, the share of construction permits issued for new residential units connected to district heating – primarily in cities with lots of multi-dwelling apartment blocks – roughly doubled between 2009 and 2019 to nearly 27 percent, according to calculations by the energy and water industry association BDEW.
“This is good news,” says Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) energy efficiency expert Rob Compton. “The share of renewable heating in new buildings in Germany still needs to rise further – and even more so in existing building stock – but the government is pushing hard in this direction. In the new-build residential sector we‘ve seen a clear swing away from gas to heat pumps as the primary source and, in urban areas, district heating. This represents an entry point for foreign companies.”
2020 is proving a record year for renewable energy in the power sector, too. On July 2, Fraunhofer ISE announced that a best-ever 55.7 percent of Germany’s net public electricity generation came from renewable sources in the first half of the year.