Instruments for the implementation of municipal heat planning – Integrated development of regulatory, process- and measure-related solutions for the municipal heat transition (KoWaP-Pro)

To achieve the goal of a greenhouse gas-neutral heat supply for the building stock, there is a wide range of planning needs at the municipal level. Strategies for increasing energy efficiency and decarbonising the heat supply by integrating renewable energies and waste heat must be harmonised. Due to the urgent need for action, municipal heat planning is also moving to the centre of the debate in Germany. The implementation of innovative solutions for heat supply raises not only technical questions, but also concerns the organisational design and legal implementation to a considerable extent. Considering the time requirements of climate protection and, not least, the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in March 2021, heating planning must be consistently geared to the goal of climate neutrality in 2045. To date, however, there has been an almost complete lack of specific requirements for the implementation of heat plans. The general regulations of building law can only do this to a limited extent. Therefore, supplementary regulatory as well as process- and measure-related approaches have to be investigated. In addition, the municipal fields of application and necessary further developments of the legal framework need to be clarified. Furthermore, heat planning must be integrated into the governance architecture of climate protection law. Since smaller municipalities are often overburdened with the task of establishing and implementing heat planning, it will be examined which cooperation opportunities the legal framework already offers and how these may need to be further developed to enable inter-municipal cooperation. In addition, for a process-oriented strategy development, the planning processes within the municipality must be assessed to identify possible conflicts of interest within the landscape of actors and regional planning tasks. Based on this, solution proposals can be developed.

Duration: 1. January 2023 till 31. December 2025

Funded by: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

Project partners: adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH

Project management

Oliver Antoni (Projektleitung)
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-0

Steffen Benz
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-283

Dr. Nils Wegner
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-20

Susanne Weber
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-0


The legal work of this project will be carried out in two steps. In the first step, the legal framework conditions for municipal heat management planning will be analysed, evaluated and potential legal obstacles identified that are relevant for the new planning instrument to be developed in the overall project. Based on these investigations, the second step will be to examine the possibilities and limits of further legal development for heat management planning and area-based heat solutions. Following the legal analyses, recommendations for action will be developed together with the partners on how the new planning instrument can be implemented in law.