VDI Energy Poll: Wind Power and CHP With Greatest Potential in the Electricity Supply Market Over Next Five Years

Decentralised combined heat and power plants (CHP) and wind power are believed to have the greatest potential in the electricity supply market in the next five years, a poll by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) among almost 800 VDI members related to the energy sector showed.

In its poll VDI asked participants (for a breakdown of participants by sub-sectors of the energy sector, please see here, page 2) for the greatest potential across sub-sectors of the energy sector over the next five years, an assessment of the development of sub-sector participants belong to, international competitiveness of the sub-sectors, an assessment of the perspectives of the participating company, innovative projects planned by participants, availability of skilled personnel.

1. Greatest Potential Across Sectors

Across all sub-sectors participants see the greatest potential in the energy supply over the next five years for decentralised CHP plants and wind power, followed by solar power, albeit by some margin. On a scale from 0% to 70%, CHP are rated 70%, wind power almost 55% and solar power almost 30%.

VDI points out that the assessment of the potential for CHP plants seems to be important in view of the need to balance the (growing) intermittent renewable input into German grids. In comparison to the poll in January, the assessment for potential for natural gas deteriorated, VDI further highlights, saying this reflected the political situation concerning Russia (Russian Ukrainian crisis).

2. Assessment of Sub-Sector Development

A rating according to sub-sectors on a scale from on to five shows energy management (almost 3.8), energy consulting (almost 3.6) and wind power technology (a little more than 3.5) ahead. Other sub-sectors above the 3 point mark are R&D, electrical engineering (elektrische Energietechnik) as well as decentralised CHP plants.

Compared with the January poll, wind power was the clear winner, while lignite-fired power plants scored comparatively badly (a little over 2 points), reflecting the low wholesale prices for power in Germany (for the most recent data, please see here), VDI commented. Regarding demands by Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel for an additional CO2 savings contribution by coal-fired power plants, please see here.

3. International Competitiveness of the Sub-Sectors

The answers on the international competitiveness of the sub-sectors of the energy sector show wind power leading the table, followed by bio-energy technology (Bioenergietechnik), decentralised CHP plants, energy consulting, R&D and energy management. Only lignite and nuclear power plant technology are rated below the average of 3 on a scale from 1 to 5.

4. Assessment of the Perspectives of the Participating Companies

The assessment of the perspectives by the participating companies sees R&D, energy consulting, energy management, decentralised CHP and electrical engineering (elektrische Energietechnik) ahead. Wind power comes only sixth in this category, lower than in the January poll, but still on a high level (almost 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5), VDI says. Below the 3 point mark are again lignite and nuclear power plant technologies, but also solar power technology, albeit it is very close to 3 point mark.

5. Innovative Projects and Availability of Skilled Labour

The poll shows a steady intention among participating companies to carry out innovative projects compared with the last poll and a slight improvement regarding the availability of skilled personnel, which is considered to be on an average to good level.

Source: VDI

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