The German transition to using renewable energy sources for residential heating continues apace. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 68.8 percent of newly constructed buildings in 2020 were wholly or partially heated in this fashion, and the percent of homes with renewables as the primary source of heat exceeded 50 percent for the first time ever.
The most prevalent of the primary energy sources were geothermal or environmental-thermal heat pumps, with 45.8 percent. Other sources included solar, wood, biogas, bio-methane and other biomass.
This trend reflects the transition in German construction toward ecological and away from traditional forms of heating. Gas heat in newly built homes, for instance, dropped from 51.5 percent in 2015 to 39 percent last year. But the lion’s share of the change in how Germans in general will heat their homes in future will come in preexisting buildings.
“It’s great that this is happening in newly built buildings, but what we also need are new solutions that can be retrofitted into existing structures,” say Germany Trade & Invest environmental and heating experts Bénédicte Winter and Robert Compton. “The vast majority of buildings that will be used in 2045, when Germany has committed to achieving climate neutrality, have already been built. This is where the majority of the potential is. Germany has the largest building stock in Europe and a huge need for modern heating systems. So there are plenty of opportunities for innovative international companies make their mark in this sector.”