Energy Ministry Presents Revised Renewable Energy Incentive Programme for the Heating Market (MAP) to Increase CO2 Savings

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has presented the revised Renewable Energy Incentive Programme for the Heating Market (MAP) in an aim to boost the share of renewables in the heating and cooling sector. The programme that provides a total amount of support of EUR 300 million annually will enter into force on 1 April 2015.

According to recent information by BMWi, the use of renewable energy in the heating and cooling sector lags behind renewable growth in other sectors, amounting to 9.9% in 2014, the same level as 2013. By 2020 Germany wants to raise the share to 14% (cf. Section 1 para.2 Renewable Energies in the Heat Sector Promotion Act, EEWärmeG).

Federal Minister for Economics and Energy Sigmar Gabriel called the MAP revision a major step in implementing the German National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NAPE) adopted in December 2014. He described the amendments as follows:

With innovative elements like support for solar thermal energy that is depends on the yields (ertragsabhängigen Förderung) and ambitious efficiency criteria MAP sets new standards for the heating sector. With improved support we want to increase renewable growth in the heating market significantly. We also want to open the programme more for the commercial sector as the energy transition in the heating sector has to take place to a greater degree in businesses. Small and medium-sized companies can therefore benefit more from MAP and receive a 10% SME bonus under the KfW programme part geared to enterprises (KfW is the German promotional bank). For large enterprises we have expanded elegibility with regard to investment allowances as well as loans and repayment bonuses.”

MAP is the main support tool of the government for investments in renewable energies providing heating and cooling. MAP promotes private, commercial and municipal investments in heating systems and heating plants that use renewable energy sources, as well as in heating networks that distribute renewable heat. Support is mainly granted for installations in existing buildings. Support for new buildings is only awarded for certain innovative types of installations.

For more detailed information about the changes of the MAP revision see an overview (in German) by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).

Support is provided by two alternative routes. BAFA grants investment allowances and the German promotional bank KfW promotes renewables in the heating and cooling sector through its “Premium” Programme for Renewable Energies by granting reduced interest rates and repayment bonuses for partial repayment of loans with reduced interest rates.

Efforts to support energy-efficient renovations also by tax reductions lately failed for a second time although this was a core element of NAPE. The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) heavily criticised the government and the federal states for failure to come to an agreement. BDEW has been lobbying extensively to better tap the CO2 savings potential in the heating sector over the past years.

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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