OPEN-HEAT-BE: Decarbonization Pathways for the Heating Sector in Berlin
Energy Project

#Berlin #Energy
January – December 2023

OPEN-HEAT-BE: Decarbonization Pathways for the Heating Sector in Berlin

Funded institution(s):
Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

Cooperation partner(s): 
German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)

General information

The OPEN-HEAT-BE project investigated avenues for transforming the urban heat sector in the State of Berlin. The goal was to develop potential decarbonization pathways for Berlin’s heating supply, both for district heating and for decentralized supplies fed directly to households. By taking a holistic view of the other sectors in the energy system (transportation, industry, electricity), it was possible to ensure that the future demand for electricity, for example, was planned in its entirety. Another key aspect of the project was an investigation into the effects on the international natural gas market and their impact on Berlin’s energy supply and decarbonization strategies.


The open-source energy system model GENeSYS-MOD was used, which was in turn augmented with the appropriate functionalities. Various model runs were carried out with different gas price scenarios based on up-to-date data from the Global Gas Model. Energy and climate policy regulations at European, German, and Berlin level were taken into account. The model also includes municipal heating planning and scenario assumptions from the EU’s Open ENTRANCE project. Stakeholders were involved in the project through workshops (Berlin Climate Protection Council, GASAG, Vattenfall, research institutes, Senate Administration, etc.).


The first model results with pathways for the heating transition in Berlin have been developed. The baseline scenario demonstrated that heat from gas will become less important. Municipal power plants will be supplied with hydrogen or synthetic gases, as the renewable heat potential and seasonal heat storage options are limited in the baseline scenario. The models also revealed that large heat pumps will supply the majority of district heating. Only half of the heat in buildings would be produced locally, and by 2050, it is slated to be produced entirely electrically from renewable sources.


A paper titled “100% Renewable Heat Supply in Berlin by 2050 – A Model-Based Approach” was submitted to Sustainable Cities & Society. An article about the project was published in a DIW Weekly Report. On 3 July 2023, a specialist workshop on the energy transition in Berlin was held with representatives from policymaking, business, and science at TU Berlin. On 7 December 2023, a seminar titled “Berlin Seminar on Energy and Climate” was held at the DIW. The project was presented at Berlin Climate Day on 9 September 2023, and was the topic of a radio interview on rbb radioeins two days beforehand. In addition, an interview on the project was given for the ntv podcast Klima-Labor at the beginning of January 2024.

Dr. Konstantin Löffler


Dr. Konstantin Löffler
Technische Universität Berlin