In 2022 renewable energies covered around 49 per cent of the gross electricity consumption in Germany. The remaining fossile part shall be covered by 2035 through large-scale expansion of wind and solar energy. Alas, energy transition is more than electricity transition. For climate neutrality other segments need to be taken into account where the total energy consumption is a lot higher. The current share of renewables in the heat sector is only around 16,5 per cent and in transport even only as little as roughly 7 per cent.
Scalable solutions for heat and transport like heat pumps or battery-electric propulsions shall be operated in the long run with green electricity. In hard-to-abate applications, h2 and e-fuels are key energy carrier which shall be produced from renewable electricity.
Challenges for the system level and single households
In an ideal climate-neutral and integrated energy system sectors must be considered in an integrated and coupled way. On the system level an efficient and cost-optimal infrastructure of electricity, heat and gas grids has to be conceived to cover the needs of additional electricity producers and consumers. Hamburg’s project „Integrated netplanning“ is a model for synergies. In addition, large-scale storage and flexibility options are necessary. Some 100 solutions developed and demonstrated 2016-2020 in the funding project „Northern German Energy Transition 4.0 (NEW 4.0)“, now need be scaled-up and implemented.
On the individual level the switch to heat pumps and electriv vehicles need to speed up. At the same time, single household electricity consumers shall be enabled to benefit from the energy system by way of becoming flexible consumers with the help of automated processes. Holistic approaches are currently under development mainly in new residential areas but the replication to existing areas is becoming ever more relevant.
- Integrated thermal transition 1400 metres underneath Hamburg: IW3 Geothermieprojekt Wilhelmsburg (in German)
- Energy-efficient modes of life and work: Visionary energy concept for Hamburg's 105th district Oberbillwerder (in German)
- The Northern German Living Lab tests the holistic transformation of the energy system in all sectors and develops the path to reach climate neutrality and decarbonization of the model region. In an overall systemic approach sector coupling with hydrogen and energy-/heat optimized districts are being tested.