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EU approves billions in aid for ‘green’ district heating

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Status: 02/08/2022 3:25 p.m.

The expansion of district heating from renewable energy sources must be financed to the tune of several billion euros. The European Commission has approved the aid. Operators can now receive subsidies directly.

Germany can invest nearly 3 billion euros in promoting district heating from renewable energy sources. The EU’s competition watchdog today approved aid totaling €2.98 billion over six years. According to the European Commission, the money should create incentives to use renewable energies in the production of district heating and thus stimulate the energy transition.

District heating is distributed to buildings through insulated pipes and can be produced in various ways, for example when generating electricity in the power plant. According to the European Commission, around four million tonnes of climate-damaging carbon dioxide could be saved each year.

Specifically, operators should be able to receive direct subsidies for the construction of new district heating systems in the future. The prerequisite for this is that new plants operate mainly with renewable energy or with waste heat emitted as a by-product of industrial plants. In addition, existing systems must be modernized and new heat production systems using solar energy can be built. And there should be grants for feasibility studies.

“The best way to get away from oil and gas”

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck welcomed Brussels’ decision. Green district heating networks are the key to a climate-friendly heat supply and crucial for reducing dependence on fossil fuel imports: “Especially in cities and densely populated areas, the connection to district heating of more more climate-neutral is the best way to move away from oil and gas heating.”

According to the Ministry of the Economy, nearly half of German households still heat with fossil natural gas, and another quarter with fuel oil. According to Habeck, the funding is intended for energy supply companies, municipalities, utilities and registered associations or cooperatives. Around 5.5 million households in Germany are supplied with district heating.


Source www.tagesschau.de

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