dena Refinery Study: Unloved but Indispensible. Petroleum Demand and Production in the Future Energy Mix.
At present, petroleum products still account for the largest share in German energy supply. The dena refinery study analyses different oil demand scenarios up to the year 2030, examines the importance and efficiency of German refinery plants and recommends a course of action for the advancement of domestic petroleum production.
Efficient petroleum supply requires an integrated approach.
In the context of energy policy reorientation, climate protection and reliable energy supply, the debate is increasingly focusing on a “post-fossil” economy. In its Energy Concept, the German government has set itself the aim of paving the way for the “age of renewable energy”.
In the last few decades, the energy mix, supply structure and use of energy have changed considerably in Germany. The market share of renewable energy has grown significantly over the last twenty years and this trend is expected to continue.
Nevertheless, petroleum remains one of the main energy sources, not only in Germany but worldwide. Today, the share of petroleum in total primary energy consumption in Germany is close to 34 percent. Consumption in the individual sectors has, however, been heterogeneous. At around 90 percent, petroleum remains the primary energy source in the German transport sector.
To achieve the aim of environmentally compatible, secure and affordable energy supply, a mere focus on mineral oil alternatives is not enough – especially in the transport sector. The supply of petroleum products per se and their future potential must also be investigated.
Petroleum refining is a lever that has received little attention so far. In contrast to petroleum production, the demand-covering refinery of crude oil into petroleum products is carried out mostly in Germany. However, a change in this supply structure is beginning to emerge. Refineries in Germany are increasingly under threat with the number of actual and imminent closures on the rise.
This study investigates the role played by domestic refineries in the context of energy efficiency, reliable supply and integration of renewable energy in Germany.
The following issues were investigated:
- Development of petroleum demand in the individual consumption sectors up to the year 2030 and associated challenges for petroleum supply.
- Characteristics of the German petroleum market and the role played by domestic refineries in petroleum supply and economic development in Germany.
- Significance of energy and resource efficiency in petroleum production; German refineries in international comparison.
- Decisive factors, potential for optimisation and challenges at all levels, from production plant to product demand.
- Potential role of refineries in the substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, particularly in the transport sector.
- Measures available to petroleum producers and politicians to secure and strengthen energy and resource efficient petroleum production in Germany.
The refinery study was prepared with the assistance of the Association of the German Petroleum Industry. The project commenced in December 2010 and was completed in September 2011.Both the summary and the complete version are available for free download.