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  • Udo Wichert confirmed as President of industry association AGFW

    Combined heat and power and district heating as system solutions for cities and conurbations // Lack of legal certainty slows down necessary investments in CHP plants and heating networks

    Essen/Rosenheim. Last Wednesday, Udo Wichert, Managing Director of STEAG Fernwärme GmbH, was elected with a clear majority as President of the AFGW, the German energy efficiency association for heating, cooling and combined heat and power. At the 47th general meeting in Rosenheim, Bavaria, the delegates elected the Board, who then unanimously confirmed Wichert in that important function. The 65 year old from Witten has been an active member of the industry association since 2001, was its Vice President from 2007 to 2013, and has been serving as President since 2013.

    Udo Wichert is pleased by the confidence and trust the members have expressed by re-electing him, and combined his speech of acceptance and thanks with a commitment to combined heat and power generation (CHP). “I am pleased to note that the focus of the energy transition has shifted from its previous concentration on electricity to a more general perspective,” Wichert says. In his speech on his last re-election three years ago, he was still appealing for the energy turnaround not to be limited to an electricity generation transition. For heat generation accounted for around one third of energy consumption in Germany. The potential for climate protection is correspondingly large. “We regard CHP and district heating as an excellently positioned system solution, especially for cities and conurbations,” Wichert continues. “The AGFW is very concerned to continue the success story of district heating and to make the German CHP law a further success story – on the markets for both electricity and heating. We do however have a fundamental problem of energy policy: the lack of legal certainty for the necessary investments in CHP plants and heating networks. There, we as the AGFW want to continue making our constructive contribution to the discussions.”

    The impending parliamentary elections in Germany provides an opportunity to canvass for these positions. After September 24, 2017, Wichert expects that the energy policy demands of AGFW will be heard in the impending coalition negotiations. “The AGFW’s position on the national election provides a good substantive basis for a sensible, technologically neutral and socially compatible heating transition.” The industry is ready to put the heating transition into practice, as Wichert assures.

    The AGFW is the leading association for energy-efficient supplies of heating, cooling and combined heat and power generation, combining over 400 regional and local utilities, contractors and industrial enterprises in the sector from Germany and other European countries. It represents over 90 percent of German district heating load. The AGFW is therefore the largest association of this type in western Europe.