GERMANY: The German government is offering funding from its annual €600m energy research budget for projects aimed at decarbonising heating and cooling.
German’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has issued a call for proposals for research and pilot projects to accelerate the transition to heat pumps and other climate-neutral forms of heating and cooling.
There is no fixed amount for the programme, which runs until February 28 next year, but it will be funded from its annual €600m budget for energy research. Focuses will include heat pump production, climate-friendly coolants and construction materials, and district heating, industrial-scale heat pumps, seasonal heat storage and new control concepts.
“By supporting heating research, we are investing today in the energy system of tomorrow,” said the minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck. “I invite all creative minds from research and industry to contribute their know-how, ideas and efforts.”
The initiative comes at an exciting time for heat pumps in Germany. On Monday (October 10), the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE announced that it had set a new record for efficiency in heat pump refrigeration cycles using propane. The German government hopes augmented state support will lead to more such technological breakthroughs.
The potential for domestic heat pumps in Germany is huge. Independent energy research institution FfE Munich estimates that heat pumps could be used in some 17 million of the 19 million German residential buildings.
“Heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy consumed in Germany, and the government is throwing its weight behind key technologies like heating pumps,” said Robert Hermann, CEO of government organisation Germany Trade & Invest. “That’s only going to accelerate what’s already a record-setting boom in this sector. This is a major opportunity for international companies on the ground in Germany,” he added.