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Berlin Environmental Atlas

08.01 Building Heating Supply Areas /
08.02 Predominant Heating Types (Edition 2010)

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Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has become a widely discussed topic in recent years, but it still cannot be reduced very efficiently through technical measures.

There are a number of cornerstones for implementing the governmental target of a 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per capita by 2020 in relation to 1990; these include greater efficiency in the consumption of energy sources for heating and other purposes, as well as sensitive management of all natural resources. In July 2008, the state of Berlin adopted therefore the "Klimapolitisches Arbeitsprogramm Berlin". Among others, this stipulates a reduction in energy consumption for residential and commercial heating, particularly ecological restoration of public buildings.

Figure 5
Fig. 5: CO2 emissions (kg) per kWh of primary energy released by fuel burning (cf. MUNR 1994)

Excel
[Statistical base of Figure 5 is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

CO2 emission are declining since 1990 in Berlin. In 2006 a reduction of 21,6 percent (sources survey) compared with the year 1990 was achieved, leading to an emission of 19.91 million tons of CO2. Although the total primary energy supply slightly increased in 2006 the switch-over to lower-emission energy sources and conversion process had an positive impact.

Figure 6
Fig. 6: Total CO2 emissions in Berlin 1990 - 2006; Comparison: sources survey / polluters survey.

The Berlin Energy Concept outlines an approach for the state of Berlin to autonomously reduce CO2 emissions by 25 percent between 1990 and 2010. Emissions caused by residential buildings are a focal point; these can only be reduced significantly if the energy consumption in old buildings is thoroughly modernized. Since 1990, the state of Berlin has been exemplary in its funding support for the rehabilitation of old buildings. Between 1991 and 2001, a total of approx. 5 billion euros was allocated to a number of rehabilitation programs:

  • Heating modernization program
  • Tower block rehabilitation program
  • Program for urban gentrification and repopulation of vacant spaces
  • Program for city-wide measures
  • Program for tenancy modernization
  • Program for the assessment and outsourcing of thermal insulation requirements

The energy-related aspects of these programs aimed to improve the energy consumption efficiency of building shells (thermal insulation, window replacement, etc.), to improve the efficiency of heat supply plants, to replace inefficient stand-alone plants, to replace high-carbon energy sources such as coal and fuel oil with district heat (where feasible) or with efficient local heat solutions (employing e.g. natural gas), and to increase the use of renewable energies.

To date, these programs have reached more than a third of Berlin's residential spaces and half of the city's tower block parks.

Rehabilitation of tower blocks has resulted in a reduction of heat consumption for residential heating from approx. 200 kWh/m²a to less than 100 kWh/m²a; a similar reduction was achieved for rehabilitated brick buildings.

While there were more than 400,000 coal ovens to be found in Berlin's apartments in 1990, this number has now been reduced to approx. 40,000. District heating has increased from approx. 450,000 connections to 580,000, and modern gas heating connections to 155,000 house connections with about 670.000 customers in Berlin and a distribution network of about 6.900 km (cf. NBB online publication.)

The exploitation of solar energy has evolved from a minor niche market to an accepted form of energy generation. Currently there are approx. 62,000 m² of solar paneling spread over 5,900 solar heat collectors and approx. 7.3 MWp ("p" for "peak output at full solar irradiation") being generated by approx. 2000 photovoltaic systems. Considering that more than 12,3 GWh of electricity were available to Berlin's consumers in 2005, the power generated by solar systems is still a very small fraction of the total power supply.

CO2 emission are declining since 1990 in Berlin. In 2006 a reduction of 21,6 percent (sources survey) compared with the year 1990 was achieved, leading to an emission of 19.91 million tons of CO2. Although the total primary energy supply slightly increased in 2006 the switch-over to lower-emission energy sources and conversion process had an positive impact.

For further information on the individual programs, please refer to the State Energy Program itself or to the publication "Klimaschutz - Schwerpunkte in Berlin" (only in German).

Vattenfall's heating power plants are crucial to the supply of heating in the city, as are the increasing number of local furnace plants. Some of these block-based heating power plants have thermal outputs and fuel types that class them as industrial plants requiring certification, and are therefore not included in the assessment of domestic fuel consumption. The number of certified furnace plants as well as the number of industrial plants requiring certification decreased in the last three survey periods.

While in 2000 243 of the 620 certified furnace plants were in operation this proportion changed in 2004 to 398 to 100 and at the current enquiry to 165 to 64. This is because some furnace plants were put out of service and others do not need a certification anymore because of the more environment-friendly fuels (gas or oil instead of coal). Since the environmental friendliness of the district or local heating provided by these plants depends to a large degree on the fuel used for heat generation, Map 08.02.2 shows the fuel consumption of the larger plants (those generating more than 20 MW of thermal output) in the heating market for 2004.

Figure 7
Fig. 7: Total fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in Berlin's major heating power plants in 2004

Excel
[Statistical base of Figure 7 is also available as Excel-File (MS-Excel is required).]

Maps 08.01 and 08.02 show the current shares of individual energy carriers for residential and commercial heating in the built-up blocks of the city, and provide a valuable aid for the planned extension of district heat and natural gas within the supply areas. For new building areas, connection possibilities for the existing supply networks are shown.

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