What will warm up the Germans, if not the Russian gas?

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Чем будут согреваться немцы, если не российским газом?

Germany is still the largest importer of Russian gas. However, in the medium term the situation on the German energy market can change due to environmental policy, Berlin. The Germans are going to continue to heat their homes, found Deutsche Welle.

Assessment of how the German market is large demand for gas, particularly from Russia, to date differ. The share of natural gas in the electricity sector in Germany is small, but its role as a source of heat is still significant. It is assumed that in the medium term, the Germans will use natural gas primarily to heat their homes.

“I do not understand what fuel you will use? You don’t want gas, not developing nuclear energy. And what, you are going to heat with wood? But for firewood also in Siberia have to go”, — said Vladimir Putin at an economic forum in Berlin in November 2010, being at that time still Prime Minister of Russia.

According to the Federal Association of enterprises of energy and water (BDEW), in 2017 49.4 per cent of residential buildings in Germany were heated by gas. That is, in fact, every second house.

However, the situation may change in the near future, both in the direction of increasing this percentage and downward, German experts believe.

Now Gazprom exports about 40% of all gas consumed in Germany. And the chance to significantly increase its share in the German heat supply, the company has, in fact 26.3% of the buildings in Germany are still heated by fuel oil. The use of petroleum products for the production of heat, as we know, the Germans believe is environmentally and economically futile, so owners of older oil-fired boilers are gradually moving to other technologies, often based on gas.

The main rival to gas in 2018 may become heat pumps. Yet, the overall proportion of homes with heat pumps in Germany is very small — just 1.8%. The most readily to this technology, owners of houses in traditionally poorly gasified regions where until now still actively stoked with fuel oil.

Another thing, of course, if Germany will start forced the state support of this technology, which is considered particularly environmentally friendly. Heat pumps act as a “refrigerator in reverse”, transforming cold into heat by using electricity and nothing at the same time without burning, said Deputy Executive Director of the Federal Association of heat pump manufacturers BWP in Berlin Michael Koch in an interview with DW.

And it is this aspect, in his opinion, and will be crucial in creating demand in the German energy market in the near future.

“Because natural gas is the least emissions among all fossil fuels, it is, according to many scenarios, will remain at least until 2030 very important source of energy for heating of buildings”, — said the head of the project “heating of buildings” analytical center of Berlin, Agora Energiewende, Matthias Deutsch.

However, the problem, in his opinion, lies elsewhere: will decrease the volume of the market. And it will happen because of the environmental policy of Berlin, read at Agora Energiewende. Moreover, the stronger Germany will fulfill its international obligations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the less gas will be burned in the country.

So, if Germany seriously undertake the protection of the climate, the consumption of natural gas to heat German homes could be reduced by 33% by 2030, said Matthias Deutsch.

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