Editorial October 2017
As soon as the federal parliamentary elections are over, the market is flooded with expert reports, position reports and demands – just in time for the upcoming coalition talks. At the same time, one thing becomes clear: Germany will miss its target of cutting CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020 (without energy policy changes) not just narrowly, but spectacularly, namely by an estimated 31 to 32 percent. We will not even come close to the share of renewable energy of the total energy supply promised for 2020 – including mobility and heat supply.
The new federal government is expected to present these results in Brussels at the end of the four-year legislative period and be accountable for it. We thus believe that there will be significant pressure during the coalition negotiations. Which environment and energy minister would want to break such disastrous news in Brussels at the end of their term?
The recommendations by “dena” are particularly interesting. A few days ago, the federally owned agency published its “integrated energy transition pilot study”, which argues for an energy transition that is technologically open and competitive. Instead of focusing on full electrification, the “dena” recommendations encourage the production of more gaseous and liquid fuels with renewable energies. Existing infrastructures (including for natural gas) should continue to be used efficiently with a broader mix of technologies. This would bring cost advantages, according to the study.
The recommendations concern a very complex system transformation, such as making the most intelligent use of existing energy infrastructures. For the renewable energy sector, one of the conclusions of the dena study is of particular interest: in order to reach the renewable energy capacities necessary to implement the energy transition goals, 8 GW of renewable energy output have to be added each year until 2050. Given the current cap on onshore wind, offshore wind and photovoltaics, this can never be achieved. Thank you to “dena” and many industrial partners for making this information so clearly available to the next federal government.