Loan (KfW Renewable Energy Programme Premium)

Updated: 11.01.2019

Author: Tim Sternkopf

The KfW provides low-interest loans and grant repayment support (Tilgungszuschuss) for electricity generation in deep geothermal installations. However, in general the programme´s focus is supporting renewable energy sources for heat generation. 

Eligible technologies

Eligible under the framework of the KfW Programme Renewable Energy – Premium for electricity production are only deep-geothermal and biomass combined heat and power installations. The installations need to supply heat or cold predominantly in Germany and have to be operating for at least 7 years (Guidelines for the support of RES-H Art. II.). A combination with the “KfW Renewable Energy Programme – Standard” for the same investment measure is not possible except for deep geothermal combined heat and power installations (KfW Renewable Energy Programme – Premium p. 5). 

Geothermal energy

Plants with a drilling depth > 400 m are supported (Guidelines for the support of RES-H Art. V.2.2.).


Loans for deep geothermal installations are granted up to 80% of the eligible investment costs. The loan has an interest period of 5, 10 or 20 years including a repayment-free start-up period of maximum 1, 2 or 3 years respectively (KfW Renewable Energy Programme – Premium p. 6). Interest rates depend on the developments at the capital market, but are, however, fixed over 10 years. For loans exceeding 10 years, the interest rate will be redefined after 10 years. Commitment fees amount to 0.25% per month.
For geothermal installation with an electricity-heat-ration of maximum 0,3 MWth, grant repayment supports are granted as follows (Guidelines for the support of RES-H Art. V.2.2.1.):
  • Geothermal plants for combined heat and power
    • Grants are available beginning with a nominal heat output of at least 4000 kWth and a gross electrical output Pel in kWel smaller than the demand-sided heat installed power Qth in kWth
    • Grant repayments: (1-(Pel/Qth)) x EUR 200 for each kW of nominal heat output. Maximum of EUR 1,000,000 per project
  • Deep hole drilling
    • Grant repayment: EUR 375 per meter vertical depth (400-1000m drilling depth), EUR 500 per meter vertical depth (1000 – 2500 m drilling depth). Maximum support is EUR 975,000 per drilling with a maximum support of four drillings per project amounting maximum of EUR 3,900,000 per project
  • Additional expenses due to drilling ≥ 400 m
    • Grant repayment is based on a proof of additional expenses and can cover up to 50 % of additional expenses and 50% of originally planned costs. The maximum support is EUR 1,250,000 for an eligible drilling and a maximum of EUR 5,000,000 for a project


Private persons, freelancer, small and medium size companies, municipalities/local authorities, non-profit organisations.   For an applicant to be eligible he must be owner, tenant or leaseholder of the property the installation is to be erected. Tenants, leaseholder, contractors need an additional written authorisation from the owners (Guidelines for the support of RES-H Art. III.).


Process flow

Relevant application forms can be downloaded from:

For grant repayment support, the following procedure applies:

  • Application: The application has to be filed before the project is started. The project begin is defined as the signing of a contract on the delivery of the installation or measure (Guidelines for the support of RES-H VIII 1.2.).
  • Additional approval: For grant repayment support higher than EUR 250,000, an approval by BMU (Ministry of the Environment) is required prior to granting the support (Guidelines for the support of RES-H Art. VIII.1.2.).

Competent authority


Distribution of costs


KfW Bankengruppe bears the costs of offering low-interest loans and grant repayment support.


Further information

  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutzund nukleare Sicherheit (BMU) - Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservationand Nuclear Safety
  • +49 301 830 50
  • BMUB website
  • zentrale(at)