The ban on night storage heaters is not a paper tiger.
The ban on night storage heaters was intended to phase out these heaters, known as energy guzzlers, in order to use electricity more efficiently and produce less CO2.
However, contrary to many assumptions, this ban was already a paper tiger, as it only applied to night storage heaters installed in residential buildings with more than five dwelling units.
And these were not to be converted to alternative heating systems until 2020.
Night storage heaters in single and semi-detached houses would, of course, continue to be allowed to operate.
These account for about 80 percent of the German night storage heaters.
Is the enthusiasm generated by the lifting of the ban just hot air?
A DISASTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE PROTECTION
Night storage heaters irreversibly convert high energy quality electricity into low energy quality heat.
The primary energy utilization rate is only about 40%.
The conversion efficiency is therefore only one third of that of heat pumps.
The energy utilization rate of 1.4 % is the lowest of all heating systems operated in Germany.
By switching off storage heaters at night, a significant potential for electricity savings and climate protection can be realized.
From this point of view, the recently lifted ban on night-time storage heaters in large residential buildings is also a failure in terms of environmental and climate protection.
NIGHT STORAGE HEATERS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT
Moreover, they are not an equivalent option to electricity storage systems, but can at best be compared as a flexibility option for the power system with electricity storage systems, load management strategies and control plants.
This is simply due to today’s fundamentally different usage conditions.
Whereas night-time heating used to absorb the higher share of base load at night due to nuclear and coal-fired electricity, renewables in the mix also increase peak loads almost independently of the day and season.
Nevertheless, according to the ifeu Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg, it may make sense to use existing night-time storage heaters as a flexibility option in the event of local grid bottlenecks until they are taken out of service, as they already possess the technical prerequisites for control by wave control signals.
LOBBYING COULD FAIL AT BUNDESRAT
However, you are currently in this transition phase.
The unnecessary lifting of the ban on night storage heaters can therefore only be seen as a further delay in the energy turnaround.
It will likely have a positive effect on the profits of the large power companies, which will be able to continue selling a lot of electricity to night storage heaters for a few more years.
And from the point of view of energy economics, it is to be expected that this in turn will promote the operation of coal-fired power plants and make it somewhat less economical to build new flexible gas-fired power plants.
But there is still a small hope that the German government’s backtracking will not succeed after all.
Franz Untersteller, Baden-Württemberg’s environment minister, announced immediately after the Bundestag’s decision that he would submit a motion to the Bundesrat’s environment committee in the next session to appeal to the mediation committee.
Electricity prices are rising, and even though politicians are still concerned about the energy turnaround.
Prefabricated houses, energy savings?
Prefabricated houses do not have the best reputation in Germany. But those who choose a prefabricated house save money.
Solar stocks are betting again – 2012 saw the bursting of the solar bubble.