German government adopts fossil boiler ban, starting 2024

(EurActiv, 19 Apr 2023) The German government has adopted a proposal for a law that would see new fossil heating installations banned from 2024, following a month-long row over the level of state support and pushback from business-friendly FDP lawmakers.

Few countries are more dependent on fossil gas for heat than Germany. In total, 30 million homes are heated using fossil fuels – with the buildings sector being a major laggard on climate action, Berlin wants to foster a switch to clean heating.

“With new heating systems, the heat turnaround must begin now,” said Robert Habeck, vice-chancellor and minister of economy and climate action, on Wednesday (19 April) in Berlin. Other countries like “France or Denmark, or even Finland and Sweden” switched to clean heat much earlier and were further ahead, he added.

Starting in 2024, new heating systems must run on at least 65% renewable energy – which amounts to a de-facto ban on gas and oil heaters. The criterion can only be fulfilled by heat pumps, that efficiently concentrate ambient heat, alongside hybrid heat pumps with a fossil backup, district heating and biomass.

Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world and home to leading producers of heat pumps, is last in line when it comes to the technology’s adoption in Europe.

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EurActiv, 19 Apr 2023: German government adopts fossil boiler ban, starting 2024