The need for action has never been greater in German energy policy. Against the backdrop of an accelerating climate crisis, and on the heels of spiking fossil-fuel prices, Germany is now facing an acute geopolitical threat to its fossil gas supplies.
The public debate is currently dominated by crisis response measures, including in particular the need to diversify fossil gas imports and ease the pressure of high energy prices. However, paramount attention should also be devoted to structural solutions – most importantly, the systematic expansion of renewables, in combination with greatly enhanced energy efficiency.
This study aims to look beyond short-term fixes and advance sustainable solutions to the current predicament. It shows how the share of renewables in German electricity consumption can be increased to 80 percent by 2030 – the first study to do so using comprehensive electricity market and grid modelling.
Achieving this target will require a massive build-out of renewables and energy infrastructure. If this build-out succeeds, it will trigger a growth dynamic that enables the achievement of a climate-neutral power system by 2035. In addition to the familiar need to act on the expansion of renewables and power grids, our findings emphasize that measures for greater electrification and demand flexibility must be developed and
implemented without delay.
Renewable electricity is the key to achieving climate neutrality, and the foundation for Germany’s future as an industrial powerhouse. The solutions are on the table, yet time is of the essence. Now is the moment for ambitious action.