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German Heating Industry Warns Against Rapid Switch To All-Electric Solutions

Germany's plan to install electric heat pumps in place of oil and gas boilers shouldn't be rushed as fully electric heating systems require massive grid investments, the German heating industry says.

Germany plans to have more and more electric heating pumps installed to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings and reduce its dependence on oil and natural gas for heating.

However, associations in the heating pumps industry warn that ditching oil and gas boilers too soon would be both unrealistic and an enormous financial challenge.

"We can't bet on an all-electric solution, which would require an urgent and crazy-sum power network expansion," Helmut Bramann, managing director of heating lobby group ZVSHK, told Reuters.

According to Markus Staudt, managing director of the Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH), electric heating pump producers are ramping up capacities and the industry backs the German government's plan to have 500,000 new electric pumps installed every year from 2024 onwards.

Yet, Germany should be flexible in allowing hybrid pumps and not ban oil and gas boilers too soon, the industry associations say.

Last year, heat pump sales in Germany jumped by 53%, according to figures from the BDH federation released earlier this year.

Modernization of the heating systems in Germany could save up to 2.3 million tons of CO2, BDH said last month.

Meanwhile, Germany is paying up for the natural gas it receives.

Germany paid more than double for natural gas last year compared to 2021 amid soaring prices in the energy crisis despite a 30% decline in import volumes, according to data from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, BAFA.  Germany paid as much as $78.1 billion (74 billion euros) for natural gas imports, more than double compared to the $37.8 billion (35.4 billion euros) it spent on importing gas in 2021, showed the official data reported by Reuters.

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In 2022, the average price Germany paid at the border surged by 197.3% to $22,180 (21,007 euros) per terajoule (TJ).  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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