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Replacing Gas Boilers with Heat Pumps Is the Fastest Way to Cut German Gas Consumption

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Pietro P. Altermatt, Jens Clausen, Heiko Brendel, Christian Breyer, Christoph Gerhards, Claudia Kemfert, Urban Weber, Matthew Wright

In: Communications Earth & Environment 4 (2023), 56, 8 S.


The supply security of fossil gas has been disrupted by the Russo-Ukrainian War. Decisions to relocate the production and transport of gas have become so urgent that new long-term contracts are imminent that undermine the Paris Climate Agreement. Here, we simulate how quickly the addition of renewable electricity and the installation of heat pumps can substitute enough gas to reduce supply risk, while taking a decisive step towards meeting the Paris Agreement. Our bottom-up modelling, using Germany as an example, shows technical pathways on how installing heat pumps is one of the fastest ways to reduce gas consumption, in addition to reducing the load hours of gas-fired power plants. With targeted efforts, maximally 60% of gas from the Russian Federation can be substituted by 2025 with heat pumps and grid expansions, and enough electricity will remain available that the phase-out of coal and the entry into e-mobility will still be practicable.

Claudia Kemfert

Head of Department in the Energy, Transportation, Environment Department

Keywords: Carbon and energy, energy economics, energy policy, energy security, energy supply and demand

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