Almost half of the apartments and private houses in Germany, heating with gas. But the most economical and environmentally friendly method, estimated by experts, heat with wood, or rather sawdust or pellets.
“I don’t know what will drown? You do not want gas, are not developing nuclear energy. Firewood to heat will?” In a hall the laughter was distributed. Speaking of his joke so much that after a short pause he decided to add: “So for firewood to Siberia to go, and no firewood”.
It was in November 2010 at the international economic conference in Berlin. And Joker was Vladimir Putin, is temporarily promoted from presidents to Prime Ministers. Most likely, he did not even suspect that very soon high-tech heating wood – more specifically, sawdust and fuel granules (pellets) – will be in Germany the most cost-effective for consumers and the most sustainable from the point of view of climate protection.
Wood: good for the purse and the climate
According to the German “Heating mirror”, in residential and public buildings with an area of 501 to 1,000 sq m the cheapest cost heating sawdust (6 Euro 80 cents per year per sq m). In second place – pellets (9,50 euros), the third – heat pumps (9,80 euros), the fourth – gas (10 euros), the fifth – diesel fuel (12,10€). And most expensive in Germany – centralized heat supply network (12,30 EUR per sq m per year).
So burning pellets
Wood as raw material for heating out of competition, and its environmental performance. When burning wood pellets and sawdust is released into the atmosphere the same amount of carbon dioxide which was absorbed while the tree of life or is released during its decomposition. Therefore, wood is considered CO2-neutral raw materials. However, for cutting, production and transport of wood pellets still requires additional energy, which experts summarize in 23 grams of carbon dioxide gas during the production by using pellets per kilowatt-hour of thermal energy.
For comparison, when heating diesel fuel CO2 is 318 grams for each kWh, gas – 247 grams, a heat pump that consumes a lot of electricity, – from 183 to 201 grams per kWh, depending on the share of renewables in total energy production. In terms of sustainability main heat, it is to indicate the German experts, even roughly estimate impossible. It all depends on how it is produced in the heating plant. If by burning coal, CO2 emissions, exorbitant, if biomass or by geothermal energy, the carbon dioxide emissions are almost zero.
Gas and diesel fuel – the main raw material for heat
Despite the objective advantages of wood, its share in the total thermal balance of Germany remains insignificant. Just published the final data of the Federal Association of enterprises of energy and water (BDEW) for the year 2019, only 2.8% of the total 18.9 million available in Germany, residential (multifamily and single family, total of 40.6 million units) were in the basement of boilers running on wood pellets or wood sawdust.
Heat pump in basement single family house
The reason is that such boilers, despite their increasing automation, still require regular maintenance: once every one to two weeks is supposed to remove the residue of ash and once and a half to two months – to clean the furnace. Gas boiler or running on diesel needs service once a year. In addition, the storage of pellets or sawdust, you need quite a large room for storage – not less than 8 square meters in single-family house.
So gas and diesel are major sources of heat in German homes. The share of gas – 45,9%, diesel fuel with 29.8%. The stations were connected in the past year to 6.6% of homes, and 3.4% had heat pumps, 2.3% of electric heating. The rest is dwellings with different stoves in separate rooms: coal, wood, pellet and diesel.
Bayern flush with diesel fuel
There are, however, significant regional differences. So, in Bavaria, almost a third of the one – and two-family homes not connected to mainline gas (the average in Germany – 12%), so in this state the share of diesel fuel for heating homes above. In Bavaria, according to a local newspaper Augsburger Allgemein, it is 41% of all residential and public buildings in the Northern Federal States – from 15 to 20%.
In Eastern Germany, i.e. the former GDR, where in times of socialism on the Soviet example was built mostly of concrete high-rises, significantly above the average share of district heating network. In Berlin by 37.1%, in Mecklenburg – Vorpommern – 36,6%, in Brandenburg and Saxony – more than 28%.
Cheap and expensive heat
Meanwhile, it is heating costs the Germans the most expensive, and price dispersion is the largest. Specialists “Heating mirror” estimated that heat so apartment size of 70 sq. m is from 580 to 1335 EUR per year, single-family house of 110 sq. m from 1000 to 2345 euros.
The disadvantages of this type of heating experts as well as a monopoly of one or another local manufacturer of heat consumers whom can’t go to a competitor. About according to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Federal antitrust Agency (Bundeskartellamt) found that the main teplosnabjenie sometimes use their monopoly position to unjustified increase of tariffs.
In contrast, a supplier of diesel (and after the liberalization of the gas market and gas), the consumer may choose in its sole discretion. In this comparative portals on the Internet acting as a deterrent to price increases. However, the price range is also quite large, which is primarily due to different levels of thermal insulation of houses.
On average to heat with gas in the very apartment of 70 square meters costs 700 euros per year, single-family house in 110 square metres of 1245 Euro. If the same objects to heat diesel fuel, prices will be higher – 845 euros per year in the first case, and 1450 euros in the second. However, the price of diesel fuel vary much more than for gas, and at a certain skill, patience and the availability of reserves you can seize the moment, when ordering this fuel will be very profitable.