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Environment: Study says renovation rate for climate target far too low

Environment: Study says renovation rate for climate target far too low
Environment: Study says renovation rate for climate target far too low

Germany wants to be climate neutral by 2045 – including in the building sector. To achieve this, millions of houses must be renovated – especially facades, roofs and windows. Experts doubt that this can be achieved.

According to experts, the German government’s goal of climate neutrality by 2045 cannot be achieved under current conditions in the building sector. There are massive capacity bottlenecks in energy-related renovations due to the “bottleneck” of the shortage of skilled workers, according to a study by the Munich-based consulting firm S&B Strategy, which the German Press Agency has made available to it.

“There is simply a lack of the necessary craftsmen to carry out the renovation work on a large scale. The capacity bottlenecks in the trades sector are therefore threatening Germany’s entire climate strategy,” said Fabio Meggle, manager and co-author of the study.

Germany is pursuing a two-pronged approach and – unlike some other countries – is not only focusing on electrifying heat generation through heat pumps but also on reducing energy requirements through insulating building envelopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, when it comes to roofs and facades in particular, we are “miles away from a scenario that will achieve the renovation targets by 2045,” said Christoph Blepp, Managing Partner of the strategy consultancy.

Many retire – young talent is lacking

Experts estimate the total investment required to achieve the goal of climate neutrality in the building sector by 2045 at around 1.2 trillion euros – in the four most important trades: heating, windows, roofs and facades. In the residential sector alone, there are 15.7 million buildings across Germany that have not been renovated or have only been partially renovated since they were built. In addition, there are around 1.7 non-residential buildings that were built before 2001 and are therefore potentially in need of renovation.

It is hardly possible to recruit more staff in the short term – on the contrary: in the coming years, many tradesmen will retire and there is a lack of sufficient new recruits. The key lever for making progress is a significant increase in productivity – for example through greater pre-assembly, finished modules, new business models and more efficient processes. Many construction suppliers are working on solutions that significantly reduce the time required to install heating systems or facades, says Meggle. A streamlining of standards and regulations is also necessary.

S&B Strategy specializes in advising entrepreneurs and investors in the areas of buildings and infrastructure. The study used data from the Federal Environment Agency, the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, the German Energy Agency and data collected by S&B.

Source: Stern

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