Climate goals but reachable?

Lead Study 2008: Positive Results for the Development of Renewable Energies

Using the sun: Parabolic trough plant in Almería (southern Spain): With heat storage systems, the electricity production of solar thermal power plants can be decoupled from the fluctuations in solar radiation. Solar thermal power plants could thus always supply electricity even at night and in heavy cloud cover. © DLR
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The Federal Government can achieve its goals set by 2050 for the expansion of renewable energies, the increase of energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A study has now come to this conclusion, which was compiled by energy expert Joachim Nitsch in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature and Nuclear Safety.

The "Lead Study 2008" describes the possible development of energy supply by 2030 and examines whether the longer-term requirements of climate policy can be implemented. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to around 20 percent of the 1990 CO2 emissions figure and increasing the share of renewable energies to 50 percent.

The report comes to the conclusion that, with a constant expansion of renewable energies and at the same time a significant increase in efficiency, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 17 percent by 2020 compared to 2005. The share of renewable energies in final energy consumption would then rise to around 18 percent.

Great effort in energy efficiency necessary

Another result of the 2008 Lead Study is that in addition to the steady expansion of renewable energies, the greatest possible efforts must be made in the field of energy efficiency. For example, the energy efficiency offensive presented by Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel on 16 October 2008 corresponds approximately to the scenario variant E1 of the lead study: With increased efficiency, a combined heat and power share of about 25 percent and a CO2 reduction of around 40 percent can be achieved by 2020 become.

Positive effects for the national economy

The study also has positive effects for the national economy: the expansion of renewable energies and the implementation of efficiency measures will save considerable costs from 2020, which would have to be spent on additional fossil energy quantities without implementing these measures. display

The lead scenario for 2050 is 55 percent of the 2005 level, with renewables accounting for nearly 50 percent of the remaining primary energy needs. The 80% CO2 reduction targeted by the Federal Government can thus be achieved by 2050.

Europe must act together

A prominent position should, according to the study, be an action plan for the medium- and long-term development of renewable energies across national borders. The concept of a European power network for the optimal use of large potentials of renewable energies and their effective integration into the power supply should be pursued with high priority.

All efforts must, however, be based on effective incentives for a much more efficient use of energy in all areas of transformation and use. With such a strategy, Europe can drastically reduce its dependency on fossil energy imports and thus significantly increase the security of its energy supply. It also prevents potential conflicts due to dwindling energy resources.

(German Aerospace Center (DLR), 20.10.2008 - DLO)