Germany supports Heat Networks 4.0

On 1 July 2017, the German economy ministry began its support for feasibility studies on climate-friendly heat networks and their subsequent construction. At the beginning of October, BAFA, the government agency managing the Heat Network 4.0 programme, said it had approved 90 studies and the implementation of three systems, while the tentative allocation of subsidies to another two proposals could bring even more projects to fruition. The deadline for submitting applications is 31 December 2020.
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Name of programme

Wärmenetze 4.0
(English: Heat Networks 4.0)

Type of incentive

Investment subsidy

Eligible technologies

Climate-friendly heating networks with a high proportion of renewable energies and waste heat

Applicable sectors

Companies incl. engineering offices and project developers, municipalities/cities/counties, municipal enterprises, registered associations / cooperatives


Feasibility studies: 60% for small and medium-sized enterprises, 50% for other companies
Investment subsidy: 20% basic funding (30% for SMEs), plus up to 10% sustainability premium and 10% cost efficiency premium, up to 75% for innovative individual components or other process innovations

Maximum incentive

Feasibility studies capped at EUR 600.000
Investment subsidies capped at EUR 15 million

Technical requirements

At least half of the heat fed into the grid must come from renewable energy sources
Seasonal heat storages are standard unless they are not economically feasible

Finance provider

Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA)

Funding source

Public funds

Effective date

1 July 2017

Expiration date

31 December 2020


Link (in German)

Last review of this tabloid

Oktober 2019


Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control
Referat 513 – Grundsatz MAP – Förderbereich 1
Frankfurter Straße 29 – 35, 65760 Eschborn
Phone 0049 6196 908-2249


Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of