Together with the EEG reform bill the government also passed the second monitoring report “Energy of the Future” on 8 April 2014. Based on 65 indicators, progress of the German Energiewende has been monitored. Besides, an expert committee has published an independent opinion.
1. Second Monitoring Report “Energy of the Future”
Based on data up until 31 December 2013 (if not otherwise indicated), the second monitoring report “Energy of the Future” provides facts and examines the implementation of the Energy Concept of 2010 and the energy policy shift.
“The Energiewende has a clear purpose: an affordable, reliable energy supply without nuclear power, a growing share of renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency”, Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel pointed out at the presentation of the report.
The energy policy shift aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 and to phase out nuclear energy by 2022. At the same time energy shall gradually be supplied by an increasing amount of renewable energy sources so that by 2050 renewables have a share of 60% in Germany’s gross final consumption of energy and of 80% of the net electricity consumption.
The report provides information on the following aspects (the information below are taken from the 16-page summary linked below):
a) Energy Policy Goals
Table 1 contains information on the status quo and the quantitative targets of the Energiewende, showing that Germany is on track regarding the promotion of renewable energy sources and also generally going in the right direction regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emission (although greenhouse gas emissions have been rising by 1.2% again in 2013). With regard to energy efficient renovations and certainly electromobility, however, the table shows further need for action.
b) Measures Implementing the Energiewende
This section lists the various measures taken to implement the energy policy shift. The report stresses inter alia that renewable growth in Germany has been very dynamic over the last few years. Now it was important to better manage and consolidate growth while making it more cost-effective, the report goes on to say, adding that the EEG reform bill that the government adopted on 8 April 2014 shall limit the extent and the rate with which costs have risen in the past.
c) Main Results
Main results are provided for the following categories:
- Energy Consumption and Energy Efficiency:
- Between 2008 and 2012 primary energy consumption fell by 4.3%.
- In 2012 the gross electricity consumption amounted to 605.6 TWh, down 1.9% compared with 2008.
- End energy productivity rose by an average of 1.1% in the period from 2008 to 2012, yet further efforts are needed to reach the target rate of 2.1% for 2020.
- Renewable Energy Sources:
- Share of renewables in gross energy consumption rose to 12.4% in 2012 (2020 target: 18%)
- Share of renewables in gross electricity consumption rose to 23.6% in 2012 (2020 target: 35%)
- The renewables surcharge (EEG surcharge) that consumers have to pay in support of renewables that receive fixed feed-in tariffs or, if operators chose to sell electricity directly, a market premium was 3.59 ct/kWh in 2012 and 5.27 ct/kWh in 2013 (2014: 6.24 ct/kWh)
- Power Plant and Grids
- In 2012 conventional power plants accounted for roughly 75% of the electricity generation in Germany, while renewable energy sources accounted for roughly 25%. The ongoing energy policy shift towards more renewable energy sources will continue to change the traditional energy mix.
- In order to successfully integrate the growing share of renewable energy sources, new conventional power plants and strengthen European electricity trading the speedy expansion and reorganization of German and European grids is vital. Due to situations of high grid congestion, transmission system operators increasingly had to intervene in winter 2012/2013 to ensure the security of supply, yet grid stability was not in danger.
- The situation in Southern Germany remains tense for the time being. Grid expansion would improve the situation and should be carried out swiftly.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Germany has exceeded its Kyoto Protocol obligation of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the period from 2008 to 2012 of 21% by reaching a reduction of 23.6% compared with 1990 (yet emissions rose again in 2013 as shown above)
- Energy prices, energy costs and macro-economic effects of the energy policy shift
- Electricity prices at the exchange have gone down on average 12 to 17% annually, an important factor being the increasing amount of renewable energy. End consumer prices for private households, commercial businesses and most industrial enterprises have risen in particular due to higher state levies (the most important of which is the EEG surcharge with which consumers pay for the difference between support for renewables pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the sale of the renewable energy at the EPEX Spot by the transmission system operators).
2. Independent Expert Opinion
The expert committee concludes that the government’s goal of increasing the share of renewables in the energy consumption to 18% by 2020 is feasible. They underscore the importance of energy efficiency for the Energiewende and see further need for action in this regard.
3. Invitation to Stakeholders to Consult
The government is inviting comments from all interested stakeholders on
- The monitoring report
- The Annex to the monitoring report
- Statement of the experts
Comments should be received by 2 (press release BMWi) or 8 (cover letter BNetzA) June 2014.