The German Federal Cabinet adopted the National Renewable Energy Action Plan in its meeting on 4 August.
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan is the core element of reporting obligations laid down in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC). Based on a specific template EU member states must submit a national renewable energy action plan, including measures and expansion strategies geared towards achieving the binding national target. The contents of the national action plan will be updated in the framework of reporting vis-à-vis the European Commission.
The plan was presented by Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen. It outlines that the binding target of an 18 percent share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption will be reached by 2020. The 18 percent may even be surpassed with an expected share of almost 20 percent. Currently this share is about 10 percent.
Minister Röttgen commented: “The road to the renewables era is ambitious and technically demanding. We need a significant increase in energy efficiency if we are to reach our goals. Additionally, electricity grids and storage capacities need to be expanded in view of the expected increase in offshore wind energy and growing electricity trade. The Federal government’s energy concept will outline the key elements in this area.”
With regard to individual sectors, the action plan stipulates shares for 2020: a 15.5 percent share for renewable energies in the heat/cooling sector, a share of 38.6 percent in electricity and a share of 13.2 percent in transport. These expansion figures and the overall 19.6 percent mark do not constitute new targets of the Federal government, they are current estimates and expectations. In connection with the legally binding 18 percent target, the Federal government had already defined and legally stipulated sectoral targets before the national action plan was drawn up. By 2020, for instance, the share of renewable energies in electricity consumption is to be at least 30 percent, the share in the heat sector 14 percent. These sectoral targets will remain valid.
In its national action plan the Federal government lists in detail existing and future measures, instruments and policies for the promotion of the use of renewable energy. The measures and instruments required for achieving this goal, e.g. the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), have basically been established, but they shall be regularly evaluated and further developed in the future.
In autumn 2010 the Federal government is scheduled to submit its broader energy concept. This concept is to focus more on conventional energy sources and take energy efficiency developments into consideration.