Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Climate-friendly, reliable, affordable: 100% renewable electricity supply by 2050

05.05.2010
„Germany can be supplied with 100% climate-friendly electricity from renewable sources by 2050” declared the Chair of the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), Prof Martin Faulstich, today in the Environment Committee of the German Bundestag where the Council presented its scenarios for a renewable electricity supply in Germany. “This is the time for the German Federal Government to set the course for the transition of the energy system”, Prof Faulstich added.

The energy expert of the SRU, Prof Olav Hohmeyer, emphasised: “The transition towards a renewable electricity system does not require either an extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants or the construction of new coal power plants.” The “bridge” towards renewable energy is already in place.

The German Advisory Council on the Environment shows in a range of different future scenarios that a fully renewables-based electricity supply by 2050 is possible at competitive costs. Security of supply can be guaranteed at all times, every hour of the year. This provides an opportunity for sustainable innovation, enhancing the outlook for Germany’s economic future.

The scenarios are based on modelling results by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The REMix model which was used for the calculations is amongst the best and most sophisticated models in Europe. It works with an extremely high temporal resolution in modelling electricity supply and demand.

Major results of the scenarios include:

1. The sustainable potential for renewable energy in Europe exceeds the current and future electricity demand many times.

2. Because the supply of wind and solar energy fluctuates considerably, however, meeting the demand requires an extension of the grid as well as the development of electricity storage capacities. For storage, the SRU recommends in particular a close cooperation with Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden. For example, a connection between Scandinavian hydro power and pump storage potentials and German supply potentials can create the required balancing mechanism and thereby lower the costs. The SRU also shows how a larger European-North African network can provide a reliable and low-cost electricity supply.

3. The electricity production costs in a fully renewables-based electricity system would according to calculations by the SRU probably be even lower than those in a system based on a mix of renewables and low-carbon conventional fuels. The costs of power generation, storage and international grid extension could in 2050 be in the range of 6 to 7 ct/kWh if policy is committed to stringent energy efficiency and saving as well as to the development of an overarching European electricity grid. Electricity production costs currently contribute about one third to the electricity prices for private consumers.

4. The necessary renewal of the power plant capital stock in Germany offers particularly favourable conditions for a transition towards renewable sources. Existing conventional power plants and those already under construction could successively be taken off the grid at the end of their regular lifetime. The SRU estimates that the gradual reduction of conventional capacity can be compensated through the addition of renewable capacity.

This means: The transition towards a renewables-based electricity supply does not require either an extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants or the construction of new coal power stations with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The SRU cautions that a significant extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants would lead to overcapacities in the system. In the long term, conventional power plants are not compatible with renewable electricity supply because their output cannot be adjusted sufficiently quickly to match the fluctuations of wind and solar power generation. The permanent co-existence of conventional and growing renewable electricity generation would make the system inefficient and unnecessarily expensive.

5. Grid extension and the development of electricity storage in Germany and the EU is the biggest challenge for a rapid transition towards a renewables-based electricity system. Here, quick action is urgently required. The SRU advises the Federal Government to play a very active role in planning the extension.

The scenarios presented by the SRU are part of a Special Report on the future of the electricity supply which will be published in the autumn. The Special Report will address in detail the political, legal, and economic requirements for a transformation of the electricity system towards a fully renewable-based supply. The scenarios which have been published today ahead of the full report can be downloaded at http://www.umweltrat.de.

For further information, please contact Dr. Christian Hey
on +49 (0)30-26 36 96-0.
The Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU) was founded in 1971 to advise the German government. The Council is made up of seven university professors from a range of different environment-related disciplines. This ensures an encompassing and independent evaluation from a natural scientific and technical as well as from an economic, legal, ethical and political science perspective.
The Council has currently the following members:
Prof. Dr. Martin Faulstich (Chair), Technische Universität München Prof. Dr. Heidi Foth (Vice Chair), Universität Halle-Wittenberg Prof. Dr. Christian Calliess, Freie Universität Berlin Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer, Universität Flensburg Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn Prof. Dr. Manfred Niekisch, Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs, Freie Universität Berlin
German Advisory Council on the Environment Luisenstraße 46
10117 Berlin

Christian Simon | idw
Further information:
http://www.umweltrat.de

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht High-precision magnetic field sensing
05.12.2016 | ETH Zurich

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>