In a joint initiative, a number of German science academies have presented recommendations for seven areas of activity with their project "Energy Systems for the Future" (ESYS), the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Energy Agency (dena), so that Germany can guide the energy transition towards success and achieve its climate targets by the year 2050. This requires rapid and determined action on the part of politicians. A comprehensive package of measures should already lay a foundation for extensive investment over the coming months. This was emphasised by ESYS, BDI and dena, who independently published policy studies on the feasibility of the energy transition at a joint event on Wednesday in Berlin.
Impulses in all the relevant areas of activity will be important: for renewable energy, flexible loads and controllable power plants, renewable synthetic energy sources, new technologies in transport, energy-efficient buildings, the prevention of industrial emissions and a holistic management of the energy transition. According to ESYS, BDI and dena, the annual net expansion of renewable energy should grow to at least six gigawatts, which is 50 per cent more than envisaged in the 2017 Renewable Energy Sources Act. Along with this, renewable energy will have to be integrated into the electricity grid. For this purpose it will have to be further developed and rebuilt appropriately and intelligently. The annual rate of building refurbishment will require an increase of one per cent today to at least 1.4 to 2.0 per cent. Finally, in order to achieve ambitious climate targets by 2050, Germany will require renewable synthetic energy sources within the range of between 200 and 900 terawatt hours. For comparative purposes: In 2017, Germany's total primary energy consumption was around 3,800 terawatt hours.
Implementation delays would lead to a significant increase in costs and the key technologies and infrastructures not becoming available on time. It is important to keep a broad eye on the energy system, to create a long-term framework, to decide upon open technology-based incentives, to develop cross-sectoral instruments and to create space for innovation and new business models. ESYS, BDI and dena recommend that the Federal Government revise the existing system of taxes, levies and reallocation charges during this legislative term so that the necessary investments can be initiated. The focus of such a reform should be CO2-oriented price signals applying to all sectors, including those outside the scope of the EU’s handling of emissions such as heating and transport. The energy transition and climate protection could therefore transform itself into the single most important future project for the industrial location that is Germany.
Voices from ESYS, BDI and dena
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Umbach, Member of the ESYS Board: “Rapid expansion of renewables is a fundamental prerequisite for making the energy system climate-friendly and promoting electricity as the dominant energy source. For this purpose, the Federal Government must expand the scope for wind and solar power systems to at least six gigawatts net per year and at the same time accelerate the expansion of the power grid. To compensate for fluctuating electricity generation, a variety of technologies are needed to ensure short-term flexibility – whether this concerns batteries in electric cars, heat pumps, thermal storage systems, power-to-X systems or indeed demand-side management among other solutions. Nevertheless, any energy system of the future will not be able to survive without a reasonable amount of reserve capacity. Flexibly activated gas-fired power plants and gas turbines will have to ensure supply in all weather conditions and all seasons."
Holger Lösch, Deputy BDI General Manager: "Because of the trillions of euros needed for additional investment, tailor-made solutions for the various sectors of buildings, transport and industry are now crucial to ensure successful and efficient climate protection. In the transport sector, industry and society will soon be reaching the limits of what is practically feasible. We would like to maintain individual mobility, but for this we require open technological solutions. In the building sector, energy-efficient refurbishment will have to be faster, more extensive and better. Attractive tax incentives are the key impulse that is required. Industry must be supported in its attempts to find solutions to today's unavoidable process emissions. New processes must be operational by 2030 and, from today's perspective, carbon capture storage (CCS) will be an absolutely necessary complement to achieve our ambitious climate targets."
Andreas Kuhlmann, dena’s Chief Executive: "The integrated energy transition is possible. The willingness to get really started is obvious, both in companies as well as in society. If politicians now revise the framework accordingly, aligning the system of taxes, levies and reallocation charges more clearly towards climate protection and thereby enabling fair competition for CO2-saving technologies, this will unleash an enormous amount of momentum. This will include the establishment of a market for renewable synthetic energy sources, both in Germany and globally. This will then be able to close the gap that can not be met merely by energy efficiency or the direct use of electricity from renewable energy sources. All three studies agree on that."
Event: Focussing Expertise, Shaping Politics - The Energy Transition Now!
The live stream (German) has been uploaded to dena’s YouTube channel.
For study comparison
Further information and graphics on the results of the study comparison, the joint recommended courses of action from the paper "Expertise bündeln, Politik gestalten – Energiewende jetzt! (Focussing Expertise, Shaping Politics - The Energy Transition Now!)" published today, as well as the three policy studies from ESYS, BDI and dena can be found at
Julika Witte, Team Leader for Communication
at ACATECH - the German Academy of Science and Engineering, "Energy Systems of the Future" (ESYS) office, Tel. +49 (0)30 206 79 57-29, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: https://energy systems-zukunft.de
Alexander Mihm, Deputy Head of Department and Press Spokesman Press and Public Relations
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V., Breite Straße 29, 10178 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 20281511, E-mail: email@example.com, Internet: https://bdi.eu
Hanne May, Head of Division for Communication
Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena), Chausseestraße 128 a, 10115 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 66 777-600, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: www.dena.de
Picture: shutterstock.com/Matej Kastelic