Climate-neutral 2040: Mandatory heat planning for 103 district towns in Baden-Württemberg


Baden-Württemberg has set its sights high in terms of climate protection: By 2040, the heat supply of municipalities and cities is to be climate-neutral. In order to achieve this goal, the state is obliging its largest district towns to plan their heating systems.

Climate protection law obligates 103 district cities

For the 103 largest municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, the preparation of a heat plan is mandatory. This is regulated by the Baden-Württemberg Climate Protection Act (KSG BW), which has been in force in its new version since October 24, 2020.

The heat plan is intended to determine the status quo in heat supply and demand and to identify potential for climate-friendly energy supply. The Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy describes the heating plan as a roadmap to climate neutrality:

“With the help of this roadmap, local authorities should make the right decisions to enable a climate-neutral heat supply for all buildings. In the same way, it is also intended to support all other local actors in individual investment decisions.”

The overarching goal is to develop strategies aimed at achieving a climate-neutral heat supply in 2040. Interim targets are to be formulated as early as 2030.

To this end, the state of Baden-Württemberg is supporting each of the 103 municipalities with 12,000.19 euros per inhabitant per year for four years. By December 31, 2023, all affected cities must have submitted their heating plans.

Baden-Württemberg was the first state to set these ambitious goals and is still the only state to offer such funding. Support for municipalities in developing heat plans is otherwise only available at the federal level, but these are a far cry from the amounts and liabilities made possible by the KSG BW, according to Max Peters of the Kompetenzzentrum Wärmewende at the Klimaschutz- und Energieagentur Baden-Württemberg (KEA-BW). In the meantime, federal states such as Schleswig-Holstein, Nodrhein-Westfalen and Rhineland-Palatinate have introduced similar regulations for mandatory heat transformation as part of a climate protection law.

Pioneering work in the district of Lörrach

The pioneer in heat planning is the County of Lörrach. Even before heat planning became mandatory for the 103 large district cities in the fall, the 35 municipalities commissioned three companies from Freiburg in December 2020 to develop a heat plan for the entire district. District Administrator Marion Dammann justifies the commitment as follows:

“The district of Lörrach has been intensively involved in climate protection for many years. We have already come a good deal closer to our goal of climate neutrality in many areas. However, there is still an acute need for action, particularly in the area of heating. With the help of a joint impulse from the district council, we have therefore launched the pilot project “company-independent inter-municipal heat planning” in order to make the heating sector in our region climate-neutral by 2040 in convoy with all the municipalities in the district.”

A mammoth task in a district that could not be more diverse. Small settlements in the rural Wiesental valley have to pull together with industrial cities. In the first phase of the project, consumption and emissions will be determined, and building types and supply structures will be surveyed. 20 months are planned for the completion of the heat plan. Since August 2020, the district has received 622,000 euros from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management for this purpose.

Support program for voluntary municipal heat planning for smaller communities.

Mit der verpflichtenden Wärmeplanung soll sichergestellt werden, dass für die Hälfte der Bevölkerung eine entsprechende Planung vorliege, so das Ministerium. The remaining municipalities will be able to apply from autumn 2021 as part of the funding program for the Voluntary municipal heat planning Apply for grants of up to 60,000 euros per municipality. These are intended to support the smaller towns and districts in drawing up a heat plan.


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