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Today’s second virtual heat pump summit hosted by Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz successfully continued the dialogue format with the stakeholders working on the roll-out of heat pumps. After the first summit at the end of June 2022 had seen agreement between the stakeholders on a general declaration of intent, a key elements paper with clear fields of action and measures was adopted today.

Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented: “We have succeeded in further broadening the stakeholder alliance since the first summit in June. Back in June, there were around 30 stakeholders; now there are roughly 50 representatives, for example from the skilled craft sector, industry, the housing sector, electricity and grids, alongside social partners, trade unions, researchers and scientists. All the stakeholders reaffirmed the shared goal at today’s meeting: we want to install 500,000 heat pumps a year from 2024. This is an ambitious goal, and much will need to be improved and accelerated for it. We have therefore joined with all the stakeholders today to adopt a key elements paper with clear priorities and measures. The focus is on three aspects: production development, skilled labour and the housing sector. We need to make clear progress on all of these three issues, and we can only do that together.”

Details of the three core issues in the key elements paper:

1. Production ramp-up and products
The stakeholders represented today all agree: we need to expand production capacities in Germany and Europe. Safeguarding supply chains is of immense importance here. We need a stronger European supplier industry so that we can source components such as compressors, semiconductors, chips, and control and regulation technology locally. One approach can be to use the European Platform for Transformation Technologies.

In parallel to this, product development must be further advanced in collaboration with research institutions. The Economic Affairs and Climate Ministry will support this via the current call for proposals for research into climate-neutral heat and cold.

2. Skilled labour
There is a shortage of skilled labour in many sectors, and particularly the skilled craft sector. The skilled craft sector is therefore to be made more attractive via new qualifications in the field of heat pumps and renewable energy. This applies both to initial and to further training.

Two examples:
The skilled craft sector is planning to develop a “certified heat pump specialist” as a new qualification in further training. The new initial training qualification “electrician for buildings systems integration” has already been introduced.

From 2023, the Economic Affairs and Climate Ministry’s Heat Pump Development Programme will encourage trained professionals in the skilled crafts sector, planners and energy consultants to participate in training on the topic of heat pumps.

And in very practical terms, the sector is working on utilising synergies. This means specifically that the central associations of the skilled crafts sector, of sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology, and of electrical engineering have concluded an agreement to be able to better coordinate the installation of heat pumps. Installation times are to be shortened and the scarce capacity of skilled labour more effectively and efficiently deployed.

3. Housing sector
The market for heat pumps is still very much focused on new buildings and single-family houses. From 2023, therefore, heat pumps in existing buildings and in larger buildings will have to be a core issue. The housing sector is working hard on this with further stakeholders. Best practice approaches will be bundled together in guidelines for the installation of heat pumps in existing blocks of flats.