District Energy / Fourth Quarter 2018 31 © 2018 International District Energy Association. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
fied gas coming to Germany, driving
gas prices down. Before, there was a
connection between oil prices and gas
prices. It doesn’t exist in Europe and in
Germany today because of the political
problems in foreign affairs. Two years
ago, the price of oil went way down, so
customers investing in new buildings
decided to install oil boilers. In 2016,
about 40 percent of new buildings in
Germany connected to oil, and district
heating suffered, but we still got 25 percent. Heat pumps got about 10 percent.
We could have had more if oil prices had
not been so low.
QYou’ve said the lower prices for natural gas were because of frack-
ing. Is that being done in Europe? Or is
it coming from somewhere else?
UW: We buy one-third of our natural gas from Russia. Our second-largest
source is Norway, and the third is the
Netherlands. Eight to 10 years ago, we
had a very strong political debate about
fracking in Germany. You will not find a
majority of people supporting fracking in
our home country.
And so I think you’ll understand
when I say that in Germany, you have a
very tricky political situation for district
heating and energy policy. The main
problem is that there is no continuous
policy, no continuity. Here in Vancouver at the annual conference, we heard
about the example of Denmark, the
so-called “Mecca of district heating.”
Denmark has had a continuous energy
policy since the second OPEC oil crisis in