European Union

The energy transition is a European topic. The German electricity system is not only connected through transmission lines with its neighbours, it is obviously part of the European internal energy market. Energy is a shared competency in Europe.

Part of it is in the hands of the Member States (e.g. the overall energy mix), part is regulated by European law. Already in the past 20 years, national energy systems have been integrated to a certain extent: day-ahead markets are coupled, targets for renewable energy are set in European law, and numerous rules for system operation being coordinated.

The current European Commission plans to put forward a series of new legislative initiatives to accelerate market integration. Amongst these initiatives are

  • deepening of market integration through the Internal Energy Market Directive
  • a review of the renewable energy directive, e.g. in order to specify governance structures on the “at least 27 percent renewable energy target” in 2030,
  • a review of the energy efficiency directive, or
  • fostering of regional cooperation on the sub-European level, e.g. the Pentalateral Energy Forum (PLEF) or the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP)

Further integration of the Internal energy market will be – next to cooperation with neighbouring countries - one of our core areas of attention.


Latest News

  • [Translate to English:] How Argentina can become a renewable hydrogen hub and boost global decarbonisation

    How Argentina can become a renewable hydrogen hub and boost global decarbonisation

    With its vast untapped renewable energy potential, Argentina is well-positioned to become a major global producer of renewable hydrogen and Power-to-X (PtX) products. A new paper by Agora Industry and Agora Energiewende together with Fundación Torcuato di Tella outlines how boosting hydrogen production can help decarbonise Argentina’s industry, create important socio-economic benefits and contribute to global climate efforts.
  • Europe can accelerate fossil gas phase-out with less hydrogen than planned

    Europe can accelerate fossil gas phase-out with less hydrogen than planned

    Through structural fossil gas demand reductions in the buildings, industry and power sectors, the EU can strengthen its energy security and cut emissions by 60% by 2030 and 89% by 2040. Such an approach, supported by a strong policy mix, would reduce renewable hydrogen demand until 2030 by 80% compared to the REPowerEU target.
  • [Translate to English:] EU power market reform should improve resilience and drive renewable energy investments

    EU power market reform should improve resilience and drive renewable energy investments

    Measures that quickly scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency investments should be at the heart of the EU’s upcoming power market reform. A combination of voluntary two-sided contracts for difference, power purchase agreements and the skimming-off of windfall profits will improve the crisis resilience of the European power market and help protect consumers from electricity price shocks.
  • [Translate to English:] Turning the climate club into an effective alliance for the global industrial transition

    Turning the climate club into an effective alliance for the global industrial transition

    Ahead of the G7 summit, Agora Industry presents a design proposal for a multilateral Climate Alliance. In combination with the European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, such a body can accelerate the decarbonization of industry and strengthen competitiveness.

    Statement by Agora Energiewende on the European Commission’s RePowerEU Plan

    To deliver on the climate targets and on energy security at the same time, RePowerEU needs to prioritize the fast reduction of fossil fuel demand and provide additional funding to Member States
  • A circular economy accelerates EU industry’s path to independence from fossil fuels

    A circular economy accelerates EU industry’s path to independence from fossil fuels

    The fossil energy crisis has increased the urgency for Europe’s domestic industry to phase down its use of fossil fuels and become more energy-efficient. Basic steps to improve the way the EU recycles and uses carbon-neutral materials and products can accelerate this transition, a new Agora Industry study finds.

    Investments in energy efficiency and renewables to deliver energy sovereignty for Europe by 2027

    Agora Energiewende proposes 15 actions for RePowerEU to reduce fossil gas dependency and help achieve the climate targets at the same time. A key element is a new 100 billion euro Energy Sovereignty Fund to massively scale up renewables and energy efficiency in the EU Member States.

    EU CBAM and international climate clubs are needed in tandem

    To serve as an enabler of the industrial transition to low-carbon technologies, a European CBAM needs to be gradually phased-in and protect exporters, a new Agora Energiewende study shows. Climate clubs can complement the carbon leakage tool.

    How to make renewable hydrogen cost-competitive

    The expansion of renewable hydrogen in the European Union calls for policy support in the order of 10–24 billion euros a year until the end of this decade. A joint study by think tank Agora Energiewende and its partner Guidehouse outlines which policy instruments are essential for renewable hydrogen’s successful market uptake – and its economic competitiveness.

    A new guide to matching money with green ideas

    While EU leaders meet today in Brussels to give political guidance to the European Commission on the planned update of the energy and climate legislation, think tank Agora Energiewende publishes a new guide on climate finance to help governments and project developers accelerate the block’s shift to a carbon-neutral future.
  • [Translate to English:]

    How to overcome barriers to the European market for climate-friendly products

    While the clean production, efficient use and recycling of basic materials are essential to make European industry climate neutral, a joint study by Agora Energiewende and CLG Europe exposes the barriers that still hold back demand for climate-friendly goods – and outlines policy priorities to scale up demand.
  • [Translate to English:]

    What measures are needed for Germany to become climate-neutral by 2045

    The recent decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court has led to more ambitious policy proposals by the government, including the goal to be climate-neutral in 2045. In a new study, Stiftung Klimaneutralität, Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende present a clear pathway, which also supports the provisions of the EU Climate Law.

    10 benchmarks to make Europe’s revamp of climate and energy laws a success

    In July 2021, the European Commission is expected to present its major Fit for 55 package aimed at achieving the new EU climate target of at least 55 percent greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030. A new report by think tank Agora Energiewende identifies 10 benchmarks for the July package to be truly “Fit for 55”.

    How the European steel, cement and chemicals industry can become carbon-free - full version published

    By using climate-neutral technology, the steel, cement and chemical industries can achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions for all industrial sectors covered by the European emissions trading scheme by 2030. The Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by Joe Biden on April 22 & 23 could be the EU’s chance to position itself as a climate leader – but industrial transformation will be key in this competition.

    Making the building sector climate fit: The all-inclusive rent system

    Temperature-based rents can provide targeted incentives for both landlords and tenants. Sweden has been successfully using an exception clause in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) to do just that. In its latest study published today, Agora Energiewende proposes reviewing the EED in a bid to increase the rental housing market’s contribution to the “Fit for 55” climate package.

    What EU leaders fail to discuss: Bold choices on Europe’s higher 2030 climate ambition

    Which role should CO2 pricing play in future climate policy? Should Member States or EU wide policies be responsible to deliver the 2030 target? To whom should money be flowing? Agora Energiewende’s new study addresses the key options for the “Fit for 55” climate package that should have been discussed at the European Council on March 25.
  • [Translate to English:]

    No-regret hydrogen infrastructure for Europe

    Europe can start investing now in future-proof climate neutrality. The hydrogen demand of steel, ammonia, and chemical plants will inevitably increase on the way to a climate-neutral EU by 2050. These industrial sites are already predestinated to become anchor points for the development of a European hydrogen infrastructure.
  • [Translate to English:]

    Renewables overtake gas and coal in EU electricity generation

    In 2020, wind, solar, hydropower and biomass supplied 38 percent of the EU's electricity, according to an analysis by Ember and Agora Energiewende. Germany has the third highest share of renewables in the European Union.
  • [Translate to English:]

    Minimizing the cost of integrating solar and wind in Japan

    While estimates have been made for integration costs, they are very country-specific. Relatively little work has been done for Japan, unfortunately. For instance, no analysis has been found for transmission grid costs in Japan. A new study by Agora Energiewende entitled “Minimizing the cost of integrating wind and solar power in Japan” aims to fill such gaps.

    How the European steel, cement and chemicals industry can become carbon-free

    By using climate-neutral technology, the steel, cement and chemical industries could achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions for all industrial sectors covered by the European emissions trading scheme by 2030. So far, however, these key technologies have been neglected in the European discussion. The EU is thus jeopardizing its long-term climate goals.

    A clean industry package for the EU

    For the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050, production at European steel, cement and chemical plants must become carbon-free. Agora Energiewende has presented eleven policy instruments to kick-start investments in climate-neutral technologies.

    How Germany can become climate-neutral by 2050

    A comprehensive study commissioned by Agora Energiewende, Agora Verkehrswende and Stiftung Klimaneutralität finds that Germany's greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced to zero in 30 years. Coal, oil, and natural gas will be replaced by electricity and hydrogen from renewables in all areas of life and the economy. To achieve this, newly added wind and solar capacity must be tripled in the next ten years and the German climate target raised to a 65 percent emissions reduction.

    How the EU can achieve a climate target of -55% by 2030

    In a new study, Agora Energiewende presents recommendations for the German Presidency of the EU Council. The study makes proposals for the further development of the EU’s climate policy architecture, addressing the attendant challenges point for point.

    New EU budget not green enough

    The EU’s budget proposal fails to honour the climate protection commitments made by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The 1.85 trillion euro budget, which will be deliberated at the upcoming meeting of the European Council, only allocates 80 billion euros firmly to climate protection. If significant amendments are not made, Europe will face a vast shortfall in green investment.
  • [Translate to English:]

    A new story about growth in crisis for the EU and China

    In a policy paper released today, Agora Energiewende and the Energy Foundation China have defined priority issues, to achieve a sustainable, resilient and fairer recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in both Europe and China.

    50 dual-benefit measures for economic recovery and climate action

    Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende today released the English version of “Dual-Benefit Stimulus for Germany”, a proposal for a massive economic aid package comprising more than 50 measures for industry, transport, buildings, the energy economy, and increased purchasing power.

    Revaluating the space requirements of offshore wind

    When offshore wind farms are located in excessive proximity to one another, turbine productivity is impaired. Accordingly, countries on the North Sea should coordinate their development of offshore wind energy. By optimizing the spatial distribution of wind farms, offshore wind can become a key pillar of the European energy system, a new study undertaken on behalf of Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende shows.


    EU Power Plant Emissions in 2019 See Record Decline

    In 2019, the EU electricity sector emitted 12 per cent less CO2 than in the previous year. At the same time, the share of renewables in electricity production rose EU-wide to 35 per cent, a new record. These are the main findings in a study of current electricity data carried out by Agora Energiewende and climate think-tank Sandbag.

  • [Translate to English:] Unsplash/Drmakete Lab

    Fair and equitable measures that the German federal government must take to reach its 2030 climate targets and avoid 60 billion euros’ worth of penalties

    Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende have just published “15 Key Proposals for Germany’s 2019 Climate Change Act”. They include a carbon price of 50 euros per tonne and a climate bonus reimbursement of 100 euros yearly per person. They also provide tax subsidies for green retrofits of existing buildings and incentives for buying climate-friendly cars.

  • Watch the recording of the presentation of the report on 7 March 2018 in Brussels.

    Ushering in the European Energy Transition 2030

    In a new study Agora Energiewende shows how the EU can achieve its climate and energy policy goals. The study recommends ten key policy priorities for the new EU Commission and European Parliament. 


    In 2018, renewable electricity reduced CO2 emissions in EU´s power sector by 5 percent, as coal phase-out gathers pace

    Share of wind and solar energy as well as biomass and hydropower rose to 32.3 percent / Agora Energiewende and Sandbag present annual evaluation of EU electricity system for 2018


    Same Game – Different Rules

    Regulations governing the construction of wind parks vary considerably between countries. Indeed, these differences can have a stronger impact on generation costs than differences in wind resources. In the future, cross-border renewable energy auctions should take diverging regulatory conditions into account, a new study argues.

    Replacing the Waterbed with the Bathtub

    A joint paper by Agora Energiewende and the Öko-Institut assesses the recent reform to the European Emissions Trading System and explains how it enhances the impact of additional climate protection measures


    Agora Energiewende presents an agenda for the energy transition by 2030

    “The Big Picture” describes trends, goals and measures for the second phase of the transformation of the energy system/In addition to the electricity system, transport and heating supply face major transformations

    2017 marks the first year in which more electricity in Europe was generated from wind, sun, and biomass than from coal

    The growth in renewable energies, however, varies greatly from country to country / Greenhouse gas emissions rose slightly last year / Agora Energiewende and Sandbag present annual evaluation of the European energy transition

    Renewable energies enable EU climate target achievement at lower cost

    Agora Energiewende has critically assessed the cost assumptions for wind and solar in the modelling for the „Clean Energy for All Europeans“-Package

    Continued Cost Declines Expected for Onshore Wind

    Costs as low as 3 to 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour can be reached, new study finds

    European Power Became Greener in 2016 – But EU Emissions Trading System Was Not the Cause

    A new study by Agora Energiewende and Sandbag reviews EU power sector trends in 2016: Renewables growth was moderate, gas-fired power generation grew considerably and coal power experienced a sharp decline

    EU Guarantee Programme for Renewables Could Save 34 Billion Euros by 2030

    Agora Energiewende proposes a new policy instrument that could drastically reduce cost of capital for renewable energy investment

    What needs to be done to make Europe's electricity sector ready for the 2030 challenge

    Agora Energiewende’s “Power Market Pentagon“ outlines the first ever consistent proposal for the cornerstone of the future EU climate and energy package: It holistically lays out measures to create more flexible electricity markets, stabilise revenues for renewable energy sources, maintain supply security and decarbonize the electricity system

    Renewable energy sources dominate EU electricity mix

    Agora Energiewende submits review of the European electricity system in 2015

    Integration costs for renewable energy: controversial, but likely low

    High shares of wind and solar power transform the entire power system and can lead to additional costs aside from building the power plants themselves. A new background paper examines these dynamics and concludes that not only the direct integration costs are low, but also the controversial indirect costs – as long as the power system becomes considerably more flexible.

    German climate goals for 2030 and 2040 require coal exit

    Germany's contribution to the Paris Climate Summit has far-reaching consequences for its power plant fleet, according to a study commissioned by Agora Energiewende

    Old coal-fired power plants block EU climate and energy goals – retirement is the only solution

    Agora Energiewende and Regulatory Assistance Project have published a strategy paper on “smart retirement” at the occasion of the first report on the Energy Union

    Europe: 50 percent renewable energies by 2030 possible with greater integration

    By 2030 around half of all electricity in Europe should come from renewable energies in order to reach EU climate targets. This applies to Germany, France, the Benelux countries, Austria and Switzerland. Varying volumes of national wind and solar supply can be balanced out through the cross-border integration of power systems.

    Coal power reserve must be considerably larger to achieve climate protection

    Study: Germany will only cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly if 18 to 20 old lignite power stations are removed from the market

    Rising exports of coal-fuelled electricity threaten German climate targets

    UK- or Dutch-style national climate protection measures needed as countermeasure

    French capacity market lowers prices on the German power exchange

    A study for Agora Energiewende shows the possible interactions of different capacity mechanisms on either side of the Rhine. Price impacts are limited to a few hours per year.

    2015 solar eclipse provides a snapshot of challenges awaiting the power system of the future

    New study: The German power system will have to cope with challenging situations, such as the one occurring exceptionally on March 20, on a more regular basis in 15 years

    Emissions trading is doomed without bold adjustments

    The rapid introduction of a market stability reserve (MSR) may support CO2 prices in the medium term. But analysis on the basis of recent emissions data of 2013 and 2014 suggests that even with an ambitious MSR the emissions trading system will not deliver results before 2020.

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