12 Insights on Germany's Energiewende
Our first insight is: Germany's Energiewende is all about wind and solar! That is the basis for whole the system.
With "12 Insights on Germany's Energiewende" Agora is making a contribution to the strategic thinking about the energy transition. We're taking a look at the electricity market of the next 10 to 20 years and identifying the main challenges.
The first thesis is: Focus on wind and solar!
Why? All other renewable energy technologies are either significantly more expensive or only have limited potential for expansion. Moreover, in recent years wind and solar production has experienced an enormous drop in cost. By 2015, wind power and photovoltaic power plants will produce electricity at the cost of seven to ten (euro) cents per kilowatt hour. A power system based on wind, solar, and conventional backup capacity will thus be in the same price range as a system based on new gas and coal-fired plants.
Wind power and photovoltaic technologies are thus by far the two most important pillars of the energy revolution. Their share of renewable energy electricity production in 2020 will be around 70 percent, and will according to all relevant studies continue to grow to constitute 80 to 90 percent of Germany's renewable electricity supply.
This will fundamentally change Germany's electric power system and electricity market. This is because wind and solar are essentially different from our previous energy sources: their energy production depends on the weather; they have high investment costs, but bear almost no operating costs; and their production fluctuates rapidly.
The other insights on the Energiewende emanate from the first one, namely the future dominance of wind and solar in Germany's energy mix. They are as follows:
The "12 Insights on the Energiewende" is a contribution to the ongoing discourse. We're interested in hearing your comments and critique: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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