Energiewende, where do we go from here?18 July 2018
In Energiewende 2030 – The Big Picture, Agora Energiewende* sets out its vision of how the world’s fourth largest economy can achieve its climate goals for 2030 (reduction of greenhouse gases by 55% compared with 1990) while also ensuring supply security and keeping energy affordable both for consumers and industry. It suggests specific energy policy targets for affordability, supply security, renewable energy sources and efficiency for all three energy sectors – electricity, heat and transport.
Agora Energiewende calculates what the energy transition will mean specifically in 2030 (relative to today): doubling the percentage of renewables in primary energy consumption to 30% and in electricity generation to 60%; halving the use of coal and crude oil; reducing the consumption of natural gas by 20%; and reducing energy consumption by 30%.
“2030 is an important milestone, as we must have achieved half of the targets of the energy transition by then if we are to reach the decarbonisation level agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement by 2050,” says Dr Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende. “The good news is that the technologies needed to make the step to 2030 are all available at a low cost. However, there is also a challenging message: now we have to do more than integrate a few wind and solar power installations, we have to comprehensively transform the energy sectors – electricity, heat and transport...While Germany has made great advances in generating electricity from renewable energy sources in recent years, and thus created the basis for decarbonisation in this sector, we are still only starting to make progress in the heating and transport sectors. The biomass strategy the German federal government originally implemented to make heating and transport more climate-friendly has not had the desired outcome. The focus will now be on energy efficiency and the use of wind and solar power via electromobility and heat pumps for heating and transport – and increasingly also using electricity-based heating and other fuels.”
He also emphasises the potential commercial benefits: “Many regions worldwide are now accelerating the expansion of wind and solar power significantly, while some – like China and California – are about to overtake Germany. As a result we must not slack off now; we should back the energy transition with an industrial policy to enable Germany to benefit from the rapidly growing global market for energy transition technologies.”
Boxes 1 to 5 summarise Agora Energiewende’s recommendations for the next phase of Germany’s energy transition.
*A think tank established in 2012 by the European Climate and Mercator foundations to “develop academically rigorous and politically feasible pathways for transforming energy systems towards clean energy in Germany and across the globe.” The full (80 pages with maps and infographics) report is available at www.agora-energiewende.de