Federal Environment Ministry improves support conditions for renewable heat

New support conditions under the market incentive programme

New support conditions under the market incentive programme

The market incentive programme (MAP) promotes renewable energy systems that provide space heating, hot water, cooling and process heat. From 15 August 2012, the Federal Environment Ministry will increase its support for investment in this field.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier declared: "The heat market is decisive for a successful transformation of the energy system. The new market incentive programme will stimulate the use of renewable heat and lay the foundations for more private investment. The new support conditions make the use of renewable energies for heating and hot water production even more attractive to house owners."

The market incentive programme has two sections, one for smaller residential buildings (single-family, two-family and multi-family houses) and smaller public and commercial buildings (competency: Federal Office of Economics and Export Control, BAFA) and one for large buildings and commercial use (Premium component of the KfW renewable energies programme Erneuerbare Energien Premium). The modifications and new provisions in the programme apply to both sections, to the BAFA investment grants and to the KfW grants geared to larger installations.

Overview of the most important changes

I. BAFA section (investment grants for smaller-scale installations)

  1. New minimum rates will be introduced for solar collectors with a collector surface of up to 40m2 (thermal use of solar energy) as well as for biomass boilers and heat pumps with a rated thermal output of up to 100kW. This new provision benefits the types of installations that are usually used in single-family houses. Their support will be increased by up to 400 euros. The basic support rates, which depend on the size of the installation, remain unchanged. Only installations in existing buildings are eligible.
  2. The bonus scheme for the support of highly innovative technologies or a combination of eligible technologies will be expanded. A bonus of 500 euros will be introduced for the simultaneous installation of a biomass unit or heat pump and a thermal solar collector. There is also a new efficiency bonus for the use of heat pumps in well insulated buildings. An additional 500 euros per installation is available for heat pumps which have a new buffer of a specified minimum size.
  3. The innovation grant for large-scale solar-thermal systems (of at least 20m2) in multi-family houses and non-residential buildings with an effective area of at least 500m2 will now be available for new buildings as well.
  4. Grants for solar collectors for the generation of process heat will increase significantly to cover up to 50% of the net investment. In the future, the grant will also be available as a one-off payment for surfaces of up to 1000m2 (competency: BAFA).
  5. The installation or retrofitting of equipment for the purpose of reducing the emissions and/or enhancing the efficiency of biomass systems in existing buildings is eligible for 750 euros per system (compared to 500 euros in the past). A grant is now available for these measures in new buildings as well (850 euros).

II. KfW section (loans and repayment grants under the Premium component of the KfW renewable energies programme Erneuerbare Energien Premium)

  1. The repayment grants for large solar collectors in the KfW section (collector surface of at least 40m2) will now cover up to 50% of the investment compared to 30% in the past (applies to process heat or solar cooling).
  2. Large heat pumps with a capacity of at least 100kW will be eligible in new buildings as well.
  3. Biogas pipelines will once again become eligible for certain applications (biogas production under the EEG 2012).
  4. Funding options for deep geothermal energy will be expanded. Not only thermal systems will be eligible but, to a lesser degree, also systems that generate electricity.
  5. Funding will no longer be available for heat grids and heat accumulators that benefit from more favourable conditions under the amended Combined Heat and Power Act, which entered into force on 19 July 2012.

The new support guidelines will come into effect on 15 August 2012.

08.08.2012 | Press release No. 107/12