Hamburg decarbonising heating networks

Law on urban heating takes effect - paves way for CO2-neutral heat supply
12 February 2024

Heating networks with a share of 80 per cent of renewable sources or unavoidable waste heat are to be created and expanded by 2040 under a new law effective since early 2024. A new online map now shows where heating networks can be created and will be the basis of a heating plan for Hamburg to be presented by mid-2026. The plan will outline measures for property owners and stipulate their rights and duties.

Suitability map for heating networks to provide orientation

"Our goal is for Hamburg to become CO2-neutral by 2045. That involves converting buildings as far as possible to heating networks, heat pumps or other decentralised options," said Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. The new heating network suitability map is a first step. Property owners can see whether district heating could be an option in future. Reorganised urban heating could then show how to achieve CO2-neutral heating. That includes identifying means of expand heating networks and saving heat.

Municipal heat planning and decarbonisation 

Apart from connections to the district heating networks, property owners are to be introduced to e.g., heat pumps and hybrid solutions with solar thermal energy or pellet boilers. The public is to be involved in the ongoing development of urban heating and can hold talks with heating network operators and housing providers in Hamburg. The next step foresees planning and expanding suitable areas and timing.