Sev­en rec­om­men­da­tions for the suc­cess of the ener­gy transition

The tight­ened Euro­pean cli­mate pro­tec­tion tar­gets and the new Ger­man cli­mate pro­tec­tion law are very ambi­tious and require dras­tic and imme­di­ate mea­sures. On the ques­tion of how these should best be designed, the Fraun­hofer Clus­ter of Excel­lence Inte­grat­ed Ener­gy Sys­tems (CINES) has drawn up sev­en rec­om­men­da­tions for the suc­cess of the ener­gy tran­si­tion. These were pre­sent­ed today dur­ing a web session.

What course must be set in the next leg­isla­tive peri­od in order to achieve a trans­for­ma­tion of the ener­gy sys­tem as quick­ly as pos­si­ble in areas such as levies and charges, the heat turn­around or the trans­port sec­tor as well as oth­er sec­tors? This ques­tion is the focus of a new short paper by Fraun­hofer CINES, which includes Fraun­hofer IEE, ISE, ISI and IEG. Based on the ener­gy sys­tem analy­sis and fur­ther ener­gy research of the four Fraun­hofer Insti­tutes, the fol­low­ing sev­en rec­om­men­da­tions were elaborated:

1. tech­nol­o­gy open­ness or clear spec­i­fi­ca­tions: Find­ing the right balance.

Long-term tech­nol­o­gy open­ness is an impor­tant prin­ci­ple for the suc­cess of the ener­gy tran­si­tion. How­ev­er, the ques­tion aris­es as to whether the new cli­mate pro­tec­tion law does not de fac­to set clear lim­its to tech­no­log­i­cal open­ness due to the increased time pres­sure in the imple­men­ta­tion of the ener­gy turn­around. The nec­es­sary infra­struc­ture plan­ning requires clear direc­tion­al deci­sions, and the port­fo­lio of tech­nolo­gies that can be rapid­ly and strong­ly expand­ed by 2030 is lim­it­ed. Pol­i­cy­mak­ers must there­fore have the courage to be open to new tech­nolo­gies in the long term, but in the short term to pro­mote estab­lished, read­i­ly avail­able tech­nolo­gies in a tar­get­ed and vig­or­ous manner.

2. ener­gy prices: Fun­da­men­tal reforms are need­ed to pro­mote sec­tor cou­pling and ensure social accept­abil­i­ty and competitiveness.

Ris­ing CO2 prices alone do not pro­vide the desired incen­tives to avoid fos­sil ener­gy tech­nolo­gies in all sec­tors. There­fore, high­er elec­tric­i­ty prices, which are cur­rent­ly hin­der­ing the expan­sion of sec­tor cou­pling, should be com­pen­sat­ed for by a reduc­tion in state-induced ener­gy price com­po­nents such as the EEG levy and, if nec­es­sary, the ener­gy tax. of the elec­tric­i­ty tax should be reduced. At the same time, this could ease the bur­den on low­er-income households.

Renew­able ener­gies: A strong­ly accel­er­at­ed expan­sion of wind and solar ener­gy is the back­bone of the ener­gy transition.

Exact­ly how high the demand will be depends, among oth­er things, on whether direct elec­tric options or syn­thet­ic ener­gy sources are more in focus. At present, the devel­op­ment of onshore wind in par­tic­u­lar should be accel­er­at­ed, for exam­ple, by increas­ing ten­der vol­umes, des­ig­nat­ing more areas and improv­ing the approval process.

4. heat tran­si­tion: Refur­bish­ment, heat pumps and heat grids are the key to a cli­mate-neu­tral build­ing stock.

Accord­ing­ly, by 2045 both the ren­o­va­tion rate and the depth of ren­o­va­tion should be increased, 6 mil­lion heat pumps installed and the expan­sion rate of local and dis­trict heat­ing increased three­fold — in the case of dis­trict heat­ing with a par­tic­u­lar focus on high shares of heat pumps, solar and geot­her­mal ener­gy, waste heat and biomass.

5. indus­tri­al trans­for­ma­tion: A clear frame­work enables indus­try to trans­form to CO2-neu­tral production.

With­out it, win­dows of oppor­tu­ni­ty for trans­for­ma­tion through mod­ern­iza­tion or rein­vest­ment in new assets can­not be seized and strate­gic invest­ments can­not be made. Par­tic­u­lar­ly in the basic indus­tries, and espe­cial­ly in the cement indus­try, for which there is cur­rent­ly no prospect of CO2 neu­tral­i­ty, politi­cians should also work out prospects for the cap­ture and stor­age of CO2. Although the tech­nol­o­gy is still not wide­ly accept­ed in soci­ety, it is cur­rent­ly the only tech­ni­cal­ly mature option with great reduc­tion potential.

6. trans­port turn­around: Low-car­bon trans­port is pos­si­ble, but requires fast, clear and ambi­tious polit­i­cal action.

This includes, for exam­ple, a rapid con­ver­sion of vehi­cle fleets to zero-emis­sion vehi­cles, the intro­duc­tion of ambi­tious fleet lim­its for cars and trucks in Europe, the intro­duc­tion of a nation­wide speed lim­it of 130 km/h on motor­ways, or a rapid expan­sion of infra­struc­ture, such as the fast-charg­ing infra­struc­ture for elec­tric cars and trucks.

7. infra­struc­tures: ener­gy infra­struc­tures need plan­ning secu­ri­ty and sys­temic approaches.

Whether elec­tric­i­ty grids, heat­ing grids for urban areas or hydro­gen for indus­try — many ener­gy tran­si­tion options require infra­struc­ture. A clear sys­tem devel­op­ment strat­e­gy is need­ed across all sec­tors that not only pro­vides guid­ance but also keeps long-term ener­gy and cli­mate pol­i­cy goals in mind. Cross-sec­tor, inte­grat­ed plan­ning tools and process­es are required for trans­port and dis­tri­b­u­tion grids, on the basis of which effi­cient expan­sion can be imple­ment­ed proactively.

The detailed pre­sen­ta­tion of the “7 rec­om­men­da­tions for the suc­cess of the ener­gy tran­si­tion” can be read in the short paper of the same name.