07.2021 - 01.2022

Heating Networks – Development of Heating Networks and their Heat Generators in Germany

Assessment of the Network Development Plan

In this report, a spatially and temporally resolved data set is generated for mapping local and district heating in Germany. Heating networks of the public suppliers as well as of the industry are considered. The heat supply is differentiated according to different energy sources. The development of the heating networks up to 2050 is examined in three scenarios based on the study „Climate-neutral Germany 2045“. The time series of the district heating load takes into account different renovation rates and the resulting heating limit temperatures.

The individual work packages and input data are structured as follows:

Work packages in the project

Heat Statistics in Germany

The combination of various statistics (AGEB, BMWI, AGFW, Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder, and Statistisches Bundesamt) provides a comprehensive view of pipeline-based heat supply in Germany.

Pipeline-based heat supply in Germany, schematic.


For the public and industrial heating networks, there are three scenarios for the district heating supply differentiated by energy carriers. The existing public heating networks are available on the level of the municipality or individual heating network, and show the district heating feed-in differentiated by energy carriers. For the industrial heating networks, the regional resolution is at the county level. The results allow a differentiated analysis of individual heating networks.

Results of selected heating networks in Germany.


The scenarios are based on the study “Climate Neutral Germany 2045”. For the regional development of heat sales, the potential for heating networks was determined for all municipalities on a 100 m grid for different renovation rates and connection rates.

Heat demand and district heating potential on 100 m grid.

Time Series

The calculation of time series is based on ERA5 Weather data as well as real-world time series data from different heating networks in Germany. By a section-wise linear regression for different representative days and times of day, time series for different weather years and counties are generated. In post-processing, the real full load hours of the individual heating networks are taken into account.

Normalized load over outdoor temperature

Building Refurbishment

Concrete targets for reducing the heat demand of residential buildings based on those from “Climate Neutral Germany 2045” were used. These influence the time series of the heating networks via the heating limit temperature and the maximum heating load. The resulting effects were considered in a separate work package.

Maximum heating load depending on the heating degree days.