Only a dedicated promotion of renewable energies - in the electricity as well as in the heating and cooling and the mobility sector – can ensure both the reaching of the targets set in the Paris Agreement and Germany’s binding renewables promotion targets set by the EU. The transition to the energy supply of the future is both ecologically necessary and economically worthwhile.
To enable a supply from 100% renewable energies, the industry needs dependable framework conditions that spark investments as the current market system does not facilitate sound financing in all areas. A lasting decision in favour of renewable energies as the course of action is required for all energy sectors and on all administrative tiers including EU level, federal level and state level.
One of those framework conditions is the guaranteed prioritization of fed-in electricity from renewable sources which is rooted in the Renewable Sources Act (EEG). It is necessary to remove or at least significantly raise established limits on the promotion of renewable energy and also find appropriate prices for carbon emissions in order to not only protect the climate but also because it is cost-efficient and will gain significance in the course of the on-going linking of sectors.
The existing regulatory framework conditions for the heating sector are good first signs but by far do not suffice to fully utilize the great potential of heat generation from renewable energies. An integration of this sector’s administrative frame, namely the three main regulations, the energy savings law (EnEG), the energy savings regulation (EnEV) and the renewable energy heating law (EEWärmeG), should be carried out ambitiously. Thereby, the usage of renewable heaters in new and existing buildings as well as for the process heat can be promoted. In addition, carbon emissions should also receive a price tag in the heating sector in order to strengthen market signals for the transition to renewable heating.
The transition to renewable energies in the mobility sector is not sufficiently backed by political framework conditions and targets. This poses a threat to the progress in climate protection as well as to the future-oriented realignment of the automotive industry. Clear signals are necessary for the energy turnaround in the mobility sector: By 2030, only vehicles that run carbon-free or carbon-neutral should be allowed to receive an automobile registration. Apart from bio fuels, which to date constitute almost 90% of the share of renewables in the mobility sector, e-mobility and electricity-based fuels also facilitate the transition to clean energy.
The European Union (EU) wavers between promises to protect the climate, an irresolute approach to reaching its set climate protection targets and utterly insufficient expansion targets for renewable energies. The current proposals included in the “Clean Energy Package” represent that discrepancy through a number of positive as well as numerous critical suggestions. A persistent realignment of energy politics towards the usage of renewable energies in all sectors is necessary on the German national and the EU-Level.
Germany has set out to implement an “energy turnaround”. By 2050, at least 80% of the electricity supply shall be covered by renewable energy sources. The project has hitherto proven to be a success as depicted by the graphic below.
However, the energy turnaround has faced a growing number of challenges and in order to achieve the goal of a clean energy supply and thus fulfilling the country’s climate protection targets, BEE identified eight primary objectives:
- Accelerate expansion
Germany needs to triple its current expansion rate if it wants to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
- Coal phase-out
The country needs a binding time schedule for the gradual shutdown of its fossil power plants.
- Carbon tax
Only a price on dirty energy sources will create conditions of fair competition in the electricity and heating market.
- Take pressure off the people
The citizens ought to benefit more from the enormous cost reduction which renewable energies generate. The financing of industry privileges through the federal budget is the appropriate measure to achieve this.
- Reduce “must run” load by conventional power plants
To date, despite their feed-in priority, a number of renewable energy systems are continuously taken off the grid in favour of fossil “must-run” power plants. More flexibility in the electricity market would allow for a reduction of the number of these power plants.
- Promote sector coupling and energy storage
Flexibility is key for a future-oriented electricity market and requires among other things better legal framework conditions for energy storage technologies. Furthermore, the concept of sector coupling, i.e. the linkage of electricity generation, heating/cooling and transport, is a very promising approach. Yet, in order to be successful, it still requires the development of a real guideline and concrete measures.
- Grid and grid expansion
For future energy supply, we not only need larger grids. We also need a smarter usage of new and existing infrastructure by both transmission system operators and distribution network operators.
- “Mobility turnaround”
The market share of renewable energies must increase in the mobility sector as well. E-mobility and biofuels are two technologies that are available and complement each other splendidly.
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