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Germany Passes Modified Fossil-Fuel Heating Law

Germany’s lower house of parliament managed to pass a controversial bill that would ban fossil-fuel heating—but the end result was a watered-down version of the bill that will interfere with the country’s ability to meet the industry’s 2030 climate goals, according to Germany’s economy ministry.

Germany has a goal of being climate neutral by 2045, and the bill is considered instrumental in reaching that goal. Included in the bill are provisions that require certain heating systems—those installed in new developments in areas relying on municipal heating—to run on at least 65% renewable energy starting next year. Property owners of existing buildings will have until 2028 to implement the changes, and gas boilers will still be allowed if they are of the type that can be later converted to hydrogen. 

The pushback against the original bill was mainly due to fears that the measures would come with high costs.

The bill passed 399 in favor of the fossil fuel heating ban and 275 against.

The bill now includes the caveat that if a boiler exchange is combined with other renovations, the government will subsidize the cost of the new heating system, providing as much as $96,404 per year. The bill originally called for subsidies that were two-thirds of that. The money for the subsidies will come from its Climate and Transformation Fund.

But not everyone is satisfied with the watered down version, which some environmental groups have argued is now ineffective.

Germany admitted that this version of the bill doesn’t get Germany to its 2030 goal like the previous version did, which called for the green switch earlier than the more palatable version that passed.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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