In the traffic light, the plans of Economics Minister Habeck continue to be disputed. A high-ranking SPD politician also gets involved.
Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) has again criticized Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) for his plans to ban oil and gas heating. The regulation planned by the Green Minister will affect residential buildings from 2024.
The fact that things are supposed to start as early as next year annoys the Lower Saxony head of state. Weil said of “Bild am Sonntag” about Habeck: “His timetable is not realistic and in the end does more damage than good.” According to the prime minister, many problems have not yet been resolved: “Are there enough installers? What about the people who cannot afford a heat pump?”
Weil made a similar statement over the weekend. Because I now expect Habeck to “urgently sit down with the construction and housing industry, the heating technicians and the energy industry and check: by when will we achieve which goal”. It is “very clear” that longer and therefore more realistic transitional periods would be needed for the “conversion of the heating system”. “An installation ban from 2024 is not realistic,” said Weil.
Habeck plans billions in funding for those affected
Almost two weeks ago, Habeck reaffirmed his controversial plans and at the same time announced billions in social support for the measure. Germany must “catch up in a short time” when switching to renewable energies, which has not been done in recent years, said the Economics Minister.
Weil spoke in the “BamS” in favor of linking state aid for retrofitting heating systems to the level of income. “We shouldn’t subsidize the purchase of every heat pump with a fixed amount, but stagger the state aid depending on the level of income,” said the SPD politician. The obligation to renovate should not lead to “people with little wealth and income losing their house”.
Ministry warns against panic buying
Habeck’s parliamentary state secretary Stefan Wenzel (Greens) had warned against “Zeit Online” on Saturday against panic buying of fossil plants. “Simply sticking with oil and gas for as long as possible can become significantly more expensive in the long term than switching to climate-friendly heating in the next few years.”
The draft bill caused criticism within the coalition. The FDP goes the project too far. Wenzel still expects it to come into force on time: “I firmly assume that the law will come into force on January 1, 2024 as planned,” he told Zeit Online.
A joint draft bill by the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Economics stipulates that from 2024 oil and gas heating may no longer be installed in new buildings. It was agreed in the coalition agreement that from 2025 all newly installed heating systems must generate at least 65 percent of their heat from renewable energy sources. According to experts, this is not feasible with oil and gas systems and is therefore tantamount to a de facto ban on these heating systems.