German renewable energy industry criticizes government’s faulty calculation basis for energy turnaround

The German Renewable Energy Federation (Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energien, BEE) has once again presented a critical analysis of the so-called long-term scenarios used by the German government to depict the decarbonization of the country’s energy system. The scenarios have been prepared since 2017 by a consortium of four research institutes and consulting firms (Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Consentec GmbH, IfEU Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg GmbH, Chair of Energy and Resource Management at the Technical University of Berlin). The client is the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection.
In August 2021, the BEE had criticized an underestimation of the domestic potential of renewable energies in the scenarios, particularly in electricity generation. This is also the main point of criticism in the current analysis. For onshore wind energy, for example, a best possible system configuration is assumed for the year 2040, which is significantly worse than the standard already achieved today. In the case of offshore wind, on the other hand, the potential is overestimated, with the scenarios assuming more than 95 percent utilization of the turbines for 600 to 800 hours a year. However, this has not been the case for a single hour in the last eight years.
In the scenarios for photovoltaics, BEE criticizes that, in the case of a nationwide capacity utilization of more than 50 percent, the feed-in capacity in excess of this is assumed to be curtailed. This is virtually impossible in practice and is also not legally permissible. At the same time, the scenarios envision electricity imports in the relevant time windows. »Shutting down cheap renewable electricity in order to purchase expensive gray electricity from abroad makes neither economic sense nor sense from the point of view of the energy transition and climate protection,« said BEE President Simone Peter. The BEE also believes that the scenarios for biomass and hydropower are flawed.
Because the long-term scenarios form the basis for numerous further studies and for political decisions, the BEE sees the danger of »consequential errors.« Therefore, corrections are necessary »so that political concepts for the implementation of the energy transition actually keep it on track for success.«

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