Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck says he is willing to make compromises on his controversial plans to replace the heating system. "When ramping up, craft services, production capacities, any form of transition periods, hardship regulations, compromises are conceivable," said the Green politician on Tuesday on the "Welt TV" channel at the sidelines of an event in Wolmirstedt near Magdeburg. It's about "creating the start so that we don't keep installing new oil and gas heating systems". He was sure that the coalition could come to an agreement "quickly".
Habeck's willingness to compromise shows that debates in the traffic light coalition are fruitful, said the deputy chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Lukas Köhler. "It would now be important to send a clear signal that the existing plans are being fundamentally revised." One then has to discuss objectively how the agreed 65 percent renewable energies could be implemented in every new heating system without overburdening homeowners and tenants, said Köhler.
The background is the discussion about a draft law that provides for stricter rules for the installation of new heating systems from 2024. According to an agreement of the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP from the spring of 2022, every newly installed heating system should be operated with 65 percent renewable energy from 2024 onwards. This could de facto amount to a ban on new combustion heaters. Habeck has promised an aid program. However, the details of the transition and operating periods that are important for many owners and tenants have not yet been determined.
a sense of proportion required
There has been criticism of the traffic light plans from various quarters. The President of the Federal Association of Independent Real Estate and Housing Companies, Dirk Salewski, told the German Press Agency that climate protection must be implemented with a sense of proportion and foresight, not with a crowbar and not with projects that lead to social upheaval. "Otherwise, acceptance of climate protection will dwindle and the economy will be permanently weakened."
In addition, according to Salewski, the resulting costs exceed the possibilities of the owners and the tenants. SPD parliamentary secretary Katja Mast made a similar statement to the "Bild": "Setting hundreds of thousands of homeowners up against unsolvable tasks ultimately does nothing for climate protection."
Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) criticized "Bild am Sonntag" that the schedule was not realistic and ultimately did more harm than good. SPD faction deputy Verena Hubertz told the "Bild" newspaper that the implementation of the plans would require significantly more specialists or sufficient heat pumps.
Söder: "Completely aloof plan"
According to the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), the plan by Economics Minister Robert Habeck is "actually directed against anyone who owns property. A completely aloof plan that should by no means become reality," said Söder of the "Bild" newspaper . Instead, property must become affordable again. "We need a new home ownership subsidy so that houses can be built again," he demanded.
Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) was confident on rbb24 Inforadio that climate-friendly alternatives such as heat pumps will soon become cheaper. "The manufacturers are expanding the capacities, so I also assume that it will be cheaper. If we expand renewable energies significantly, we will have the potential for cheap electricity there too." Habeck believes that more determination is needed when expanding the power grids in Germany. "The power grid expansion must be carried out and it must be carried out faster than currently planned," he said in Wolmirstedt.