Electrification is the key – An interview with Matthias Busse

The decarbonization of the mobility and heating sector

The Agora study “Towards a Climate-Neutral Germany by 2045” identifies electrification as one of the key factors in accelerating the reduction of greenhouse emissions in the economy, industry and society. The authors locate the greatest potential in the transport sector and the heating market.

Why do we still use central heating and mobility?

Although electromobility has already gained an incalculable share in road traffic, combustion engines still dominate. At the same time, oil and gas take up a significant share in heat generation, while the share of renewable energies has stagnated here at around 15 percent for years. The only thing that will allow us to become largely independent of fossil fuels in the medium term is electrification using renewable energies. The current geopolitical situation makes this particularly necessary.

What does the path look like for mobility?

The intelligent interaction of battery and hydrogen technologies is an important factor. With solid-state batteries and further developed cell designs, new battery technologies are becoming readily available for road transport and stationary applications, while the steady expansion of the charging infrastructure with high charging capacities also makes long distances much more achievable. In addition to battery-electric powertrains, freight transport will also make use of green hydrogen. A shift from road to rail is necessary for passenger and freight transport.

How is electrification driving the heat transition?

To decarbonize the heating sector, district and local heating networks must be significantly expanded and converted to renewable energy-based heat generation and waste heat utilization. Furthermore, oil and gas heating systems must be replaced by heat pumps that draw their power from renewable energies. For the end user, their own photovoltaic system in combination with a battery storage, a heat pump and an electric vehicle represents the future. The political soft positions for funding and financial incentives are essential to a quick and successful implention. Both private households and communities require strong support.