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GTAI Energy Efficiency Newsletter

The latest developments in Germany’s energy efficiency market

Here is your monthly update on the latest developments in energy efficiency in buildings and industry in Germany. We hope this service is useful to you and welcome your feedback!

If you are interested in establishing a subsidiary in Germany, Germany Trade & Invest offers a wide range of free investor support services. We look forward to hearing from you!

Germany’s Energiewende heads downtown as parliament passes Landlord-to-Tenant Electricity Act

August 2017

When traveling on Germany's high speed rail network, it's common to hear visitors mention the number of houses with photovoltaic systems on the roof. Indeed, on sunny weekdays Germany's 1.5 million PV installations can peak at 35 percent of demand and on Sundays even up to 50 percent. PV covered about seven percent of Germany’s electricity demand in 2016.

For homeowners, Germany's system of feed-in tariffs and rules on own-consumption has made installing PV systems an attractive economic proposition. However, the millions of Germans living in urban apartment blocks have sometimes felt excluded from the energy transition, both in environmental and financial terms, in part due to the lack of a legal framework specifically incentivizing the consumption of power from PV systems on apartment block roofs by the tenants living under them.

To address this, Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, adopted the "Act on the Promotion of Landlord-to-Tenant Electricity" (Mieterstromgesetz) at the end of June. The new law is set to enable capacity additions of up to 500 MWp per year.

Landlord-to-tenant electricity is power generated by a PV system installed on the roof of a residential building and supplied to the final consumers (particularly tenants) in the immediate vicinity of that building, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy writes in a press release. The remuneration will range between 2.2 euro-cents/kWh and 3.8 cents/kWh and depends on the size and capacity of the solar installation. A study conducted on behalf of the ministry found that up to 3.8 million households could benefit from landlord-to-tenant electricity supply.

Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Uwe Beckmeyer said: "Promoting landlord-to-tenant electricity makes tenants part of the energy transition. Landlords who have photovoltaic installations on the roofs of their buildings can sell the electricity generated by these installations to their tenants. This is already possible today, but usually not profitable. Electricity that is not used by landlords themselves is fed into the grid. Landlords receive remuneration for this electricity pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). In future, landlords will also receive remuneration when they sell the electricity thus generated to their tenants. However, as no grid fees need to be paid for this electricity, the remuneration is much lower than when the electricity is fed into the grid. This new rule will increase the supply of landlord-to-tenant electricity and bring the energy transition into the cities."

The act makes sure that tenants will still be able to freely choose their electricity suppliers and actually benefit from the landlord-to-tenant electricity model, the ministry writes. For this purpose, it contains requirements regarding contract terms, a ban on a link with rental contracts, and a price cap for landlord-to-tenant electricity.

The act is now being considered by the upper house, the Bundesrat.

If you would like to find out which opportunities there are for your business in Germany's PV market, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you with individually tailored information.

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Updated climate data for energy-optimized construction

August 2017

Germany’s Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) and the national meteorological service, the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), have updated their meteorological conditions database for Germany

The test reference year datasets describe the typical climatic conditions for every hour in a year for each square kilometer of Germany. In addition to typical values, there are also datasets for extremely cold winter and very hot summer conditions - information that is invaluable to HVAC designers and architects.

The new dataset offers greatly improved spatial resolution as well as future scenarios for 2031 through 2060.

“The new climate data make a comprehensive contribution to sustainable construction adapted to the local climate,” says Dr. Robert Kaltenbrunner of the BBSR. “Ever more homeowners are choosing heating, cooling, and hot-water systems based on renewable energy sources, such as solar energy and photovoltaics. In order to economically exploit these energy sources in particular, you need an exact understanding of the local climatic conditions.”

If you would like more information about the opportunities for your business in Germany's green building market, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you.

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60 percent of residential buildings completed in Germany in 2016 wholly or partly heated by renewable energy

August 2017

Heating systems which use renewable energy were installed in 60.3 percent of the just under 110,000 residential buildings completed in 2016, the Federal Statistical Office Destatis reports. 37.6 percent of the residential buildings completed were primarily heated by energy from renewable sources.

Renewable energies ranked second among primary energy sources after gas, which was used for heating purposes in 52.9 percent of the new buildings. Together, the other energy sources (such as district heating, oil, and electricity) accounted for 9.5 percent.

Where new residential buildings were primarily heated by renewables, this was usually achieved with environmental heating (air or water-source heat pumps) or geothermal systems (ground-source heat pumps).

Where environmental heating, geothermal systems or gas were the primary energy source, these were also the sole source in 50 percent of new residential buildings. Where they were not the sole source they were most often supplemented with renewable sources. Wood was primarily installed to support environmental heating (22.9 percent) and geothermal systems (16.2 percent). Gas was most often combined with solar-thermal technologies (26.8 percent).

Renewable sources include environmental heating, geothermal systems, solar-thermal technologies, wood, biogas/biomethane and other biomass. Conventional energy sources include oil, gas, and electricity. District heating is a further energy source.

If you would like more information about the opportunities for your business in Germany's HVAC and green building markets, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you.

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Super-efficient housing estate celebrates completion in Bavaria

August 2017

After nearly a year and a half of construction, an estate of 13 new super-efficient homes was opened in a ceremony near the southern German city of Augsburg on July 14th.

The estate, known as the “Effizienzhaus Plus-Siedlung”, is located in the village of Hügelshart near the Bavarian city of Augsburg.

Over the course of a year, the nine detached and four semi-detached homes will produce more energy than their residents consume. The buildings were constructed according to the “Effizienzhaus Plus” criteria laid down by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

The project is just one example in Germany of both energy-efficient and economical construction.

Franz Josef Pschierer, state secretary in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, considers the project a role model: “Germany’s transition to renewable energy is not only an electricity transition. Heat also plays a big role. Modern construction techniques and innovative technologies - as we see here in Hügelshart - make an important contribution to the electricity and heat transitions.”

The local mayor, Roland Eichmann, said: “The Effizienzhaus Plus-Siedlung is a trailblazer for energy efficient construction. The concept finds a way to optimally implement good construction and energy efficiency in architecture. For us, it’s a reference project.”

Part of the energy collected by the photovoltaic systems on the buildings’ south-facing roofs is stored in lithium-ion batteries, while some is transformed into heat and stored in a thermal water storage system. An energy monitoring system controls all aspects of the system automatically and ensures the photovoltaic energy is used optimally.

Over the course of a year, the buildings predominantly generate the energy they need and feed excess power into the grid or charge an electric vehicle directly next to the house. The majority of excess energy is generated in the summer months. In winter, the photovoltaic systems won’t generate quite enough to meet the buildings’ needs and so some power will come from the grid. Nevertheless, over the course of a year, the buildings are around 70 percent self-sufficient.

At the heart of each of the buildings is a combination of an air-water heat pump, inverter technology, and a thermal water storage system. The heat pump, which is primarily powered with electricity from the photovoltaic system, heats water in the storage tank which is then used in the heating system. Hot water is also provided by the heat pump and stored in a 235 liter tank.

You can find further information and photos on the project homepage in the links below.

If you would like more information about the opportunities for your business in Germany's green building market, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you.

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Federal fuel cell incentive program expanded to include commercial buildings

August 2017

Germany’s generous federal funding for fuel-cell heating systems was expanded at the start of July to enable small and medium-sized enterprises, contractors, and municipalities to apply for support for applications in non-residential buildings.

Funding for the installation of fuel-cell heating systems in private residential buildings was launched in August 2016. The changes will provide a boost to the government’s technology-launch programme for fuel-cell heating systems.

State Secretary Baake said: “The new rules for the commercial sector will play an important role in making this highly efficient and forward-looking technology widely available on the market.”

At the time of writing, grants of between EUR 7,050 and EUR 28,200 were being awarded for fuel cell systems with an output of between 0.25 and 5.0 kW according to performance and the total eligible costs. The part of the grant awarded according to performance is made up of a fixed sum of EUR 5,700 with an additional EUR 450 for every additional started 100 W of electrical output. A 1.0 kW system thus receives a grant of EUR 10,200 while a 5.0 kW system receives EUR 28,200.

The total eligible costs include installation, set costs for the first 10 years of a full-service contract, and the costs for an energy efficiency expert. 40 percent of these costs are awarded as a grant up to the maximum grant level for the performance class.

This information is provided here as an indication. The full conditions can be found on the KfW website.

If you would like more information about the opportunities for your business in Germany's stationary fuel cell and HVAC market, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you. Our incentives team can let you know how your investment project can benefit from public funding.

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Germany launches funding for innovative pilot heat networks

August 2017

The start of July saw a new funding program launched in Germany that will support the planning and construction of highly innovative multivalent heat networks. The program aims to incentivize larger pilot projects that form a bridge between energy research and real-world practice, and thus pave the way for wider market entry. The aim is to provide environmentally friendly heat from a large share of renewable sources and waste heat through district networks as cheaply as conventional fossil-based systems.

Heat networks that operate at temperatures of 20 to 95 °C have a number of advantages over conventional systems. These typically include utilizing high shares of heat from renewable sources and waste heat, providing large-scale seasonal heat storage, improving flexibility in the electricity grid, and delivering efficient district-scale solutions for heating and cooling.

At the same time, such systems can deliver heat at competitive prices by employing waste heat sources that were previously unusable, for example at the edge of towns or on neighbouring properties. By connecting cheap industrial waste heat to consumers in industrial-scale pilot projects, the program aims to accelerate the learning curve and generate scale effects in the branch.

Furthermore, the program will support sector coupling by enabling the heating grid to provide flexibility to the electrical grid by combining large-scale heat pumps with large-scale seasonal heat storage, or even other power-to-x solutions.

State Secretary Baake said: "By launching funding for 4th generation heating networks, we are promoting systems that correspond to what we want the future heating infrastructure to look like in the context of the energy transition. In view of the very long investment cycles in this area, this is particularly important when it comes to reaching our 2050 energy-policy targets."

Funding will be provided in two steps: first, for feasibility studies (up to 60 percent / max. EUR 600,000), and second, for the realisation of the system (up to 50 percent of the eligible project costs / max. EUR 15 million). Applications can be submitted to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). Additional information can be found on the BAFA website (link below).

If you would like more information about the opportunities for your business in Germany's district heating market, get in touch with Germany Trade & Invest's industry experts, who would be glad to support you. Our incentives team can let you know how your investment project can benefit from public funding.

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Upcoming Events

If energy efficiency is your business, make sure you’ve got these events in your diary!

6-7 SeptemberEnergieeffizienz Messe, Frankfurt, Germany
10-12 OctoberUK Construction Week, Birmingham, UK (meet GTAI here!)

Relevant Links




We’ll be back in October with a fresh update. Thanks for reading!

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