The heating industry continues to move forward with establishing natural gas as the go-to source for the energy supply of residential buildings, while increasingly adding efficient fuel cell technologies and eco-gas to the mix. The members of the Zukunft Erdgas advocacy group expect oil to no longer play an important role as an energy carrier in the medium term, as they believe it will gradually be replaced by renewable gases. A recent study has shown that this could lead to an around 80 percent cut in CO2 emissions from heat supply.
“Through the first six weeks of this year alone, we received more requests than during all of 2015,” Andreas Frömmel from German FuelCell Energy Solutions reported during the E-world 2016. That should come as no surprise: Large-scale fuel cell plants have gained in popularity ever since the German parliament amended the CHP Act at the end of last year and put the transition rules on paper (see New Rule for Fuel Cell Heating Systems). Plants ordered until the end of 2016 and built by the end of 2017 can still receive the full CHP benefits as per the CHP Act from 2012 – independently of their power output. This section of the law will benefit even megawatt-size power plants.