BERLIN (Dow Jones) – In order to achieve the higher European climate targets, Germany must press ahead with its green electricity expansion much faster than previously planned. A 2.4-fold increase from 455 terawatt hours in 2019 to 1,084 terawatt hours in 2030 is necessary, as the German Renewable Energy Association (BEE) has calculated in a new study.
The basis is the assumption of the experts that Germany will have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade from currently 55 to 65 percent compared to 1990. This results from the stricter EU climate target of 55 percent by 2030.
German climate target for 2030 not yet clarified
The negotiations on the German contribution to the mitigation efforts have not yet been concluded. While Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has also set herself the 65 percent target for Germany, Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) is only aiming for an increase to 60 percent. The Union and the SPD actually wanted to clarify the question in the first quarter of the year as part of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), but the work on this has been on hold since the CDU mask affair.
The scenario of the green electricity manufacturers also throws the assumptions of the federal government for the future gross electricity consumption over the heap. Due to higher energy efficiency gains, the Ministry of Economic Affairs expects demand in 2030 to remain roughly stable compared to today at 580 terawatt hours. In contrast, the BEE expects electricity consumption to rise to 745 terawatt hours due to the increasing electrification of the heating and transport sector. Renewables are to take on 575 terawatt hours of this – which corresponds to a share of 77 percent instead of the 65 percent previously targeted. Therefore, a much more massive expansion is necessary: According to the study, 205 gigawatts must be added for solar energy and 95 gigawatts for wind power on land.
Significantly higher hydrogen demand
With a view to the future demand for hydrogen, the assumptions of the energy researchers go well beyond the plans of the federal government. Accordingly, the domestic amount for the so-called Power-to-X (Power to Gas, Power to Liquids, Power to heat) increases by 20 percent to 55 terawatt hours. Another 31 terawatt hours would have to be imported by 2030.
In its national hydrogen strategy, however, the government expects a German electrolysis capacity of 5 gigawatts, which corresponds to green hydrogen production of only up to 14 terawatt hours. However, the BEE study considers it possible to use other technologies for Power-to-X in addition to hydrogen, such as methane or renewable fuels from bioenergy or synthetic materials.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 16, 2021 04:45 ET (08:45 GMT)