Market incentive programme symbolised by biogas facility

© BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

The Federal Government has for many years been supporting the use of renewable energy to generate heat and cold via the successful Market Incentive Programme (MAP) (in german). The beginning of 2018 saw two changes to the programme which need to be noted by consumers, energy consultants, companies carrying out the work, and other stakeholders.

Applications for funding must be submitted before the work begins

Since 1 January 2018, all applications for support must be submitted before commencement of the work for which the funding is requested. This means that applicants must have submitted their application before they order a new solar thermal installation or heat pump, for instance. This change brings the funding rules into line with the other programmes for energy efficiency and renewable energy run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. There is a transition period until 30 September 2018 for equipment which was ordered in 2017 but could not be installed before 2018. There is no change to the other eligibility requirements for technology funded via the MAP.

Biomass installations funded via the Renewable Energy Sources Act and deep geothermal installations are now eligible for MAP funding again

Further to this, it will again be possible from 1 February 2018 to fund equipment which can also be subsidised under the Renewable Energy Sources Act. This affects biomass installations and deep geothermal installations for combined heat and power generation in the output categories which can be applied for to the KfW according to the MAP guidelines, and also to biogas pipelines to supply CHP installations. Funding for these installations was suspended in 2014 due to concerns on the part of the European Commission regarding the cumulation of the two subsidies; following clarification of the last state aid questions, funding can now be provided again.

Under the MAP, the Economic Affairs Ministry funds the construction of installations which use renewable energy to generate heat and cold, and especially solar thermal plants, heat pumps and pellet boilers, and the construction of heating networks and storage facilities. The funding for low-capacity installations takes the form of investment grants from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (in german), whilst larger installations receive support in the form of redemption grants for low-interest KfW loans under the KfW’s “Premium” Renewable Energy Programme (in german).