Germany: Solar Thermal Should Cover 2.6 % of the Total Heat Demand by 2020

 German renewable Roadmap” Ways into a modern energy industry: This is the title of the German roadmap for all renewable energy technologies published by the German Renewable Energy Federation BEE in mid-December. The document states that Germany's policies will not be sufficient in utilizing the full potential of solar heating and cooling technology by 2020.

Heading the drafting of the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) has a clear time table. The first draft is planned to be discussed with association representatives and stakeholders in February of 2010. The government and the different ministries will then incorporate their own modifications into the document and submit a final version to the European Commission at the end of June.

The renewable energy umbrella organisation German Renewable Energy Federation BEE coordinates the project on the industry side. It has already done its homework: A roadmap for all renewable energy sectors is available since mid-December in German and will be translated into English by January 2010.

The key milestone of the drafting process was a workshop held at the beginning of November and organized by the BEE. At that workshop, participants gathered and discussed the objectives of the different renewable energy sectors. “This open discussion was very fruitful and a good guide also for representatives of the BMU who participated in the workshop,” Thomas Chrometzka, Head of International Affairs at BSW, said at an association workshop organized by the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) in Brussels at the beginning of December. Afterwards, the BEE revised its 45-page document and will submit the final roadmap to the German government before the end of the year (see attached document). Chrometzka is fairly confident that the ministry staff will consider the association's proposals. “We have close personal contact with the Environmental Ministry and regular meetings.”

What long term objectives does the road map hold for solar thermal?
Solar thermal applications are thought to cover 0.6 % of the total heating demand in Germany in 2010 and 2.6 % in 2020. In 2008, the solar share was at 0.4 %. This corresponds to a share of 4.5 % in Germany's domestic demand for hot water and space heating in 2020, assuming the hot water and heating demand decreases by 18 % until 2020 and the demand for process heat by 11 % during the same period. The forecast predicts an increase in the installed collector area per year to more than 6 million m2 by 2020 - three times the amount of 2008.

Furthermore, the BEE document states that Germany's policies will not be sufficient in utilizing the full potential of solar heating and cooling technology. Therefore, the roadmap adds further requirements to actually achieve the targets mentioned above:

  • Increasing the refurbishment rate of old heating systems from today's 3 % to 6 %
  • Implementing a renewable building code for existing buildings. The new renewable building code from the beginning of 2009 apply only to newly constructed buildings
  • Broadening the already existing German rebate programme
  • Solving the owner-tenant-dilemma, meaning that the owner of an apartment building with rented apartments has so far not been willing to invest into a solar thermal system, because he or she will not profit from decreasing energy costs, which are paid for individually by the tenants
  • Improving the support schemes for solar thermal systems with seasonal storage and solar district heating.

More information:
German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE):
German Solar Industry Association (BSW):

Download the German Roadmap for all Renewable Energies in English.


IndustryRoadmap_Jan_2010_EN.pdf 952.7 Kb [308 download(s)]

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