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German Act promoting expansion of renewable energy



The German Renewable Energies Act (EEWärmeG) addresses a range of aims, such as promoting the expansion of renewable energies in the heating and cooling sector. This Act introduces the first nationwide obligation in Germany relating to the use of renewable energies in the construction of new buildings (usage obligation according to section 3 para. 1 of the Act).



Section 1 of the German Renewable Energies Act (EEWärmeG) is aimed at using renewable energies to cover at least 14 % of the heating and cooling energy demand of buildings by 2020. For this purpose, it compels clients to ensure that the supply to new buildings includes a stipulated percentage of renewable energies. With respect to existing buildings, the Act features provisions for funding in the case of a corresponding energy-related upgrade.



Owners of new buildings that feature a usable area of over 50 m² are obligated to cover the heating and cooling energy demand using renewable energies to various extents (depending on the type of energy):

  • Solar radiation energy: 15 % (for reasons of simplicity, the surface of the mounted solar collectors must correspond to at least 4 % of the heated usable area in the case of detached and semi-detached houses – or 3 % in the case of a block of flats) 
  • Biomass: 50 % when using liquid or solid biomass (bio-oil or wooden pellets/firewood) and 30 % when using biogas
  • Geothermal energy and ambient heat: 50 %