Transformation of heat supply in existing urban neighborhoods: Utilization of geothermal energy with respect to technical, economic and legal constraints. Subproject: Elaboration of the legal framework and adaptation options for geothermal heat supply (UrbanGroundHeat) (Wärmewende in urbanen Bestandsquartieren: Erschließung von oberflächennaher Geothermie in Abhängigkeit der technischen, wirtschaftlichen und rechtlichen Randbedingungen (UrbanGroundHeat))

In order to achieve climate targets in the building sector in Germany, a significantly higher market penetration of heat pump systems in existing buildings, where the conversion of existing heating systems to heat pump systems is not yet far advanced, is needed. Regarding this, the UrbanGroundHeat project pursues two central project goals. On the basis of model-based potential investigations and preliminary planning, the feasibility for integrating heat pumps in existing districts of the partners participating in the project will be investigated and a real implementation will be initiated. For this purpose, the technical, regulatory and economic requirements in the investigated districts will be identified and evaluated in detail. Furthermore, the development of universial guidelines and planning tools will create important prerequisites to enable the project partners to implement geothermal projects in existing buildings and districts in the future.

Duration: 1. January 2023 till 31. December 2025

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

Project partners: Fraunhofer IEE, Fraunhofer IEG, Institut für Solarenergieforschung Hameln GmbH, Stadtwerke SH GmbH & Co. KG, Trianel GmbH, GASAG Solution Plus GmbH, Stadtwerke Solingen GmbH, GGEW Bergstraße AG, Stadtwerke Münster, Stadtwerke Ahlen

Project management

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

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

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


The legal work of the subproject “Development of the legal framework and modification options for a geothermal heat supply system” is carried out in two steps. In the first step, the legal framework conditions for the use of geothermal energy to supply energy to neighborhoods, including an analysis of obstacles and deficits, will be examined, particularly with regard to the implementation of possible business models. In the second step, the possibilities and limitations of further legal development for these cross-property heating solutions and new business models will be examined. The results from this exercise will contribute to the multi-disciplinary recommendations to be developed by the project consortium, which will form part of the guidelines and toolbox to be developed.