The German energy transition—a success story. The share of renewables in electricity consumption has risen from around 6% in 2000 to more than 40% in 2018. In 2017, the share of final energy consumption for heating and cooling powered by renewables was around 14%. With their Climate Action Plan 2050, the German Federal Government confirmed the reduction targets of at least 55% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2040. The Climate Protection Plan also enshrines the guiding principle of becoming largely greenhouse gas neutral by 2050.
Northern Germany plays a central role in the expansion of sustainable power generation and transmission. The Hamburg metropolitan region—from Cuxhaven to Lübeck, and from Neumünster to Lüneburg—is already the centre of north German activities. Since autumn 2010, the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster has been offering ideal networking and information resources for interested stakeholders. In addition to onshore and offshore wind energy, heat, sector coupling and storage have been the mainstays of cluster work since 2016.
Since December 2016, the large-scale project “Norddeutsche EnergieWende 4.0”, in which the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster is significantly involved, has demonstrated the increasingly important interplay between the energy load centre of Hamburg and the strong energy generation region of Schleswig-Holstein. In more than 100 individual projects, various central aspects of load management are being analysed and translated into sustainable solutions. In the future, industrial energy demand will more closely align with local wind power generation.
Around 300,000 people work in the entire renewable energy sector in Germany according to the German Renewable Energies Agency in Berlin. According to Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V., around 160,000 people were employed in the wind energy sector in 2016. The metropolitan region is a globally relevant centre of the industry.
The EU is also placing more and more emphasis on climate protection and the expansion of renewable energy sources. The EU has set itself the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 % by 2050 compared with levels in 1990. By 2030, 27% of the energy consumed should originate from renewable sources. The exchange and cooperation with other regions in Germany, Europe and the world is therefore an important focus of work for the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster, for example in the EU Interreg project Northern Connections, which will run until 2020.