EWI quantifies the coalition agreement’s impact on the energy sector

EWI quantifies the coalition agreement’s impact on the energy sector
December 6, 2021 |

The news targets for the electricity sector defined in the coalition agreement re-quire a faster expansion of renewables and additional hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants. The emissions target for the energy sector for 2030 could then be significantly undercut.

The coalition agreement of the designated federal government contains numerous measures to achieve the climate targets. The Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) shows how the electricity sector could develop if the measures from the coalition agreement are implemented in this way.

To compensate the coal phase-out, which is favored in 2030, an additional 23 GW of hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants would be necessary. In addition, an annual net expansion of 14.6 GW photovoltaics, 2.2 GW wind offshore and 3.9 GW wind onshore is necessary to achieve the expansion targets of the coalition agreement. “The average annual addition of photovoltaics and offshore wind over the past ten years would have to be more than tripled,” says Dr. Johannes Wagner, manager at EWI.

Additional electrical consumers increase the demand for electricity to 725 TWh in 2030

These are the central results of the new analysis “Effects of the coalition agreement on the electricity sector in 2030”, done by EWI. The EWI analyzes the central targets of the coalition agreement and evaluates them related to the structure of the German electricity system in 2030. The analysis is based on the “Climate neutrality 100″ scenario, which the EWI developed in its expert report as part of the “dena-Leitstudie Aufbruch Klimaneutralität” and expands the scenario to include the new targets of the coalition agreement.

Two new targets lead to a further increase of gross electricity demand. On the one hand, the coalition agreement aims to achieve at least 15 million fully electric vehicles by 2030. As a result, the share of new registrations of fully electric vehicles in total registrations should increase to around 83 percent by 2025. A value of around 94 percent should be achieved by 2030. On the other hand, the installed capacity of electrolysers should reach 10 GW by 2030. In the examined scenario, the gross electricity demand will rise to a total of 725 TWh in 2030.

The early coal phase-out requires additional hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants

Based on the development of electricity demand, the inflexible peak demand will rise from 77 GW in 2019 to 95 GW in 2030. This must be covered by a combination of industrial flexibility, electricity imports, storages and controllable power plants. The designated federal government would like to “ideally” complete the coal phase out in 2030. Based on 2019, around 25 GW of hard coal and 21 GW of lignite would be decommissioned.

“The early coal phase-out by 2030 requires, among other things, a significant expansion of new hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants of 23 GW by 2030. The currently planned expansion is only 2.3 GW to 2023,” explains EWI manager Max Gierkink.

Germany stays as electricity exporter; the sectoral emissions target is being undercut

According to the coalition agreement, 80 percent of the gross electricity demand is to be covered by renewable energies. A target for total capacities of 200 GW in 2030 is defined for photovoltaics. This corresponds to a doubling of the previous target of the EEG 2021. Wind offshore capacities are to be expanded to 30 GW – 1.5 times the previous target. The model calculations depict an expansion to around 94 GW for the installed wind onshore capacities. In the EEG 2021, 71 GW were previously defined as a target. Due to the high expansion of renewable energies, Germany will stay as a net exporter of electricity in 2030. The export balance is around 14 TWh.

As a result of the coal phase-out by 2030 and the high expansion of renewable energies, greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector could fall to 82 Mt CO2e. The sectoral climate target of 108 Mt CO2e is clearly undercut in this case.