Study Rural households are ahead in terms of energy transition technology

Study Rural households are ahead in terms of energy transition technology

Study Rural households are ahead in terms of energy transition technology

The vast majority of German citizens support the energy transition. According to a study, however, there has been a lack of concrete implementation so far – especially in larger cities. Only 15 percent of private households there rely on at least one energy transition technology, such as photovoltaics, solar thermal energy or heat pumps. In rural areas and in small towns, however, the figure is 33 percent, according to a survey published on Wednesday on behalf of the state development bank KfW.

Overall, more than 90 percent of households are in favor of the energy transition. A large majority (92 percent) make a conscious effort to save energy.

According to the survey, a total of 23 percent of households across Germany rely on the sun for hot water preparation, heat pumps, photovoltaics and the like. “In view of the almost unabated high CO2 emissions in the household sector, these efforts are not yet sufficient to achieve the climate goals of the federal government and those of the Paris Agreement,” warned KfW chief economist Jörg Zeuner.

According to the information, photovoltaics and solar thermal energy in particular are used significantly more frequently in rural areas than in cities. According to the study, electric cars are the only technology that is more widespread in metropolitan areas than in rural areas. Some technology cannot be used effectively everywhere, said Zeuner. “We should discuss what can be done in the cities.”

According to the study, differences in the usable areas for solar energy could play a role in the urban-rural divide. In addition, independence from conventional, centralized energy supplies is often cited as an argument in favor of using the technologies in rural regions. A total of 3700 households were surveyed.

According to the information, there are also big differences between owners and tenants. Households that use their own home are more than twice as likely to be equipped with energy transition technologies (33 percent) than those who rent (14 percent). Household income also plays a role in some cases.

Households in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse most frequently stated that they had one of the technologies examined. The authors cited different location qualities for solar energy and household incomes above the national average as reasons.

Solar thermal energy is the most widespread: around 10 percent of households use solar energy to heat water. Photovoltaic systems and heat pumps each come to around 8 percent. Up until now, German citizens have rarely relied on financial participation in renewable energy systems, battery storage systems, electric cars and combined heat and power.

In their coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD agreed that at least 65 percent of electricity should come from renewable energies by 2030. The last nuclear power plant in Germany is to go offline in 2022. A commission is currently advising on the coal phase-out.