With greater ambition, Germany can meet all its energy demand with renewable energy within next 15 years

Charlotte Nijhuis writes on the Clean Energy Wire about a new report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) showing that Germany can meet its entire energy demand in little more than a decade by renewable energy. Now, let’s see if the country takes up the challenge.


Germany can fulfil entire energy demand with renewables in 10-15 years – report

Germany’s entire energy demand can be met through renewable energies alone within the next ten to fifteen years, according to a new report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The prerequisite for this is that German expansion targets for both wind and solar energy are greatly increased, the authors write. Onshore wind power will play a particularly important role, according to DIW, which is also calling for the expansion of wind farms – especially in the south of the country. “100 percent renewable energies are technically possible and economically efficient – and above all urgently needed to be able to achieve the European climate protection goals,” says Claudia Kemfert, Head of the Energy, Transport, Environment Department at DIW Berlin. According to the calculations, not only the electricity demand, but the entire energy demand in this country could be secured with renewables. To reach full energy supply through renewable energies, the EU, federal and state levels must work together more closely and in a better coordinated manner, especially when it comes to grid planning, the authors write. They also argued that integration into the European electricity grid is necessary to guarantee supply security. At both the European and the national level, current grid development plans include a high share of fossil natural gas power generation as well as nuclear power. “These are the shadows of yesterday’s energy policy – now we urgently need to switch to tomorrow,” Kemfert said.

Germany’s 2030 goal is to reach a share of 65 percent renewables in the power mix. But due to a possible quick phase-out of more fossil power capacity, industry representatives and environmental groups alike have called for ramping up the goal to at least 70 percent by the end of the decade.

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4 thoughts on “With greater ambition, Germany can meet all its energy demand with renewable energy within next 15 years

  1. Curious to see “In Demand” highlighting this study. Because nowhere is it stated precisely how large or small the anticipated level of “ demand” might be in Germany in 10 or 15 years. What assumptions are being made about how many investments in energy efficiency will be deployed? This report simply does not provide that information.

    1. You are absolutely right. Unfortunately, we do not have a research team to go beyond what is available. One day . . .

      1. But the absence of such basic information about the anticipated size of the German market in ten to fifteen years, undermines entirely the value of such a study. . I am surprised that it merits inclusion in”In Demand” given such an obvious lacuna.

  2. Euractiv published an article written by me. It can be found here and mentions Germany.
    One take away from my article is that Germany has been slow moving and even when an opportunity (open cast coal mine pits now flooded) presents a big (50GW) opportunity for floating PV, instead of “learning by doing” the Germans fart around with a 3 year study. Over the border in Netherlands, the Dutch are rolling out large-scale (70MW) floating PV in old gravel pits. Why can’t the Germans do the same?

    The other problem is the “only think big problem” – rather than taking a salami-slicing approach towards elec de-carb. There are many small to medium communities in Germany which could be de-carbed with, for example a 4MW wind turbine (or two) and a MW or two of PV (plus batts plus electrolysers). This approach is not even being attempted. & yet it could in a highly cost effective way reduce the de-carb problem to manageable proportions.

    Decarbing industry gets all the attention – plus synchronised whining about the Germans lacking enough North Sea for off-shore wind. The space for off-shore has been artificially constrained by assumptions about wind farm disruption (the focus is on monopole foundations which are very noisy to install – rather than suction buckets – which are comparatively speaking silent) coupled to assumption that off-shore wind turbines only produce electricity – ignoring the possibilities for in-tower electrolysers and connecting then together using pipes (much much cheaper than 66kV XLPE cables).

    Neither is there a discussion in Germany about roof-top PV. A cursory glance at Google Earth – Frankfurt March 2021 suggests a penetration of PV @ around 10% or less – industrial, commercial, residential. Sure PV is not much help in winter – but very useful in the summer (given they will become much much hotter – A/C anyone?) what to do about surplus elec from PV? – some batts and push the rest through electrolysers for H2 production. All of this could be quite easily accomplished. That it is not, in one of the most industrially advanced countries on the planet tells you a great deal about the mindsets of German politicos – who in my view, still think that the climate disaster can be addressed with “business-as-usual” plus a little bit.

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