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Germany

Official Name:
Federal Republic of Germany

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Mr. Malte Bornkamm
Position:
Head of Division
Phone:
+49 30 18615 7468
Emails:
nde-germany@bmwi.bund.de
,
Name:
Mr. Enrico Siebart
Phone:
+49 30 18615 7468
Emails:
nde-germany@bmwi.bund.de
,
Name:
Mr. Julian Frohnecke
Position:
Senior Government Official
Phone:
+49 30 18 615 6493
Emails:
Julian.Frohnecke@bmwi.bund.de

Energy profile

Germany (2013)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

The German electrical grid is about 1.74 Million kilo-meters long. There are four voltage levels: Extra High, High, Distribution and Low. It is operated and divided by four transmission network operators.

Renewable energy potential

SolarGermany’s average solar irradiation is somewhere between 975 and 1,200 kWh/m², which is less than many southern European countries or North Africa (cf. 2,200 kWh/m²).  WindAn UBA study concludes that 49,361 km², or 13.8% of the country’s territory, are in principle suitable for wind energy use. This area potential would allow the installation of turbines with a total capacity of 1,188 GW and an annual power output of around 2,898 TWh. As expected, the biggest potential is in the northern German federal states, although a major potential was also calculated for the central and southern parts of Germany. In contrast, significant differences were noted in the median full load hours of the reference turbines as placed, with a national average amounting to 2,440 full load hours. Whilst with 2,621 and 2,540 full load hours respectively, the average capacity of wind energy plants in northern and central Germany is above average, only 2,108 full load hours are achieved in the south. However, this is still considerably higher than the median capacity utilisation of 1,700 full load hours over the past five years in Germany.Biomass  The Federal Environment Ministry believes biomass to be the “most important and multifunctional source of energy for Germany.” Regarding the land availability there are about 17 million hectare of agricultural spaces (approximately 12 million hectare of agricultural crop land and approximately 5 million hectare of grassland). There is also another 11 million hectare of woodland area.By far the most important natural resource is wood. One third of Germany’s landscape is forest. About one quarter of all wood lumbered is used for energy generation. The other three quarters are utilized to create building and commercial materials. Coming along are recycled material, which are also used for energy generation. The Federal Ministry for Forest Affairs (Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute) believes that there also is extra potential and reserves (13-35 million m³/ year) for sustainable forest harvesting.BiogasThe potential for agricultural biogas production was estimated on 19.7 – 20.6 bn m3, from the landfill biogas – 2.2 – 2.3 bn m3, and from wastewater treatment plants – 1.1bn m3.The agricultural biogas production is regarded as having the largest development potential: out of a total technical potential of 417 PJ from sewage gas, landfill gas and agricultural biogas, the latter could provide 77-85%, according to Poeschl et al. In the same report it is estimated that only 10% of the total technical potential for biogas production is currently utilised. HydroIn Germany, 4,350 MW have so far been installed from hydro power - more than twice the amount (10,040 MW) would be possible. If one considers the possible volume of electricity that could be produced by hydro power stations in Germany, the gap would even grow wider: the presently installed hydro power stations generate about 16,300 GWh of electricity per year. Yet 37,650 GWh would actually be possible.  At present, Germany also has some 30 power stations with a pump capacity of 7 GW; the storage output amounts to approximately 7 GW. Pumped storage power plants can be controlled very flexibly; they are able to react to grid fluctuations within seconds.

Energy framework

Second Energy Package (Energiewende)Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011, a political decision which enjoyed extensive public support was taken to accelerate the phase-out of Germany’s nuclear fleet by 2022 starting with the immediate closure of the eight oldest plants. This decision, combined with the political target to further progress towards a low-carbon energy sector, had a major impact on the German energy policy outlook, which resulted in the adoption of a second package of measures, needed to accelerate the energy transition. This second Energy Package, which completed what is commonly known as the Energiewende, contained seven legislative measures to support renewable energy and grid expansion, promote energy efficiency, fund the reforms and reverse the previous decisions to extend the lifetime of the nuclear plants.  In the context of the Energy Concept (Energiewende), the German government has confirmed a GHG reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and set additional reduction targets of 55% by 2030, 70% by 2040 and 80% to 95% by 2050, each relative to 1990. Additional measures, however, may be required to meet the 40% reduction target by 2020 in the absence of a sustainable Europe-wide emissions trading scheme.Energy efficiency is an important pillar of the Energiewende and the country has set a target of 20% reduction in primary energy consumption by 2020 and 50% by 2050 when compared to 2008. To date Germany has made good progress and has implemented a broad sweep of programmes across all sectors. Nonetheless, there is much to be done if Germany wishes to meets its 2020 targets and a comprehensive assessment of the energy saving potentials and targets for the individual sectors is needed, notably, in the industry and transport sectors.Together with energy efficiency improvements, large-scale deployment of renewable energy is at the heart of the Energiewende. Since its inception in 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has proven very effective in introducing renewable energies; notably electricity generation from biomass, wind energy and solar photovoltaics (PV). This policy instrument has also proven successful in bringing costs down, as reflected in particular in the decrease in feed-in tariffs (FITs) for PV as a response to the rapid growth in take up of the technology over the past four years.Energy Research ProgrammeThe federal government published its new Energy Research Programme in August 2011 which promotes research and development activities to achieve the policy targets contained in the Energy Concept. Accordingly, the federal government has been increasing its research and development, and the budget funding will increase from EUR 1.9 billion over the period 2006-09 to EUR 3.5 billion for the period 2011-14. This commitment to energy-related research, development and deployment (RD&D) activities and encouragement of the federal government to further increase in spending on energy RD&D is very welcome.

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