Grid and wind powerplant symbolizing electricity 2030; Quelle: istockphoto.com/NI QIN

© istockphoto.com/NI QIN

The energy transition is a joint task. In order to jointly shape the transition from the Electricity Market 2.0 to the Energy Market 2.0, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy published an input paper on 16 September 2016, entitled 'Electricity 2030', launching a wide discussion on the policy conditions for the future supply of electricity: electricity generation, its use in heating, transport and industry, and the transport of electricity through the grids.

The current government has made significant progress on the energy transition thanks to the 2017 Renewable Energy Sources Act, the Electricity Market Act and the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition. Latest discussions are to bolster the consensus that has already been found on how to move forward from here and to identify the range of diverging opinions. Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 per cent by 2050 while ensuring a low-cost and climate-friendly energy supply as we make progress on that target.

Twelve trends and tasks for the energy sector

The input paper is based on current studies and outlines twelve long-term trends in the electricity sector. The trends show that wind and solar energy are having an increasing impact on the energy system, gradually becoming the most important energy sources while remaining secure and affordable. If we want to back up these trends, we need to start significantly reducing our total energy consumption. Most of the remaining energy demand will be covered by renewable energy, mainly from wind and solar power. Investing in efficiency technologies and renewable energy sources will largely cut out harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The trends are also the basis for determining the tasks of our energy policy for the coming years. One of these tasks is to fully establish the Electricity Market 2.0, in other words to make the electricity system more flexible and more European. In fact, the Electricity Market 2.0 will become a part of the Energy Market 2.0, in which electricity will play an ever more important role in the heating, transport and industrial sectors. We will increasingly use renewable electricity to power our cars, heat our homes and operate our industry. Meanwhile, sustaining a low-cost and climate-friendly energy supply over a long period of time will require us to maintain well-developed and efficient power grids.

Input paper launched a public discussion process

Publishing the input paper marks the beginning of a broad-based discussion. This discussion is principally taking place within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s energy transition platforms “Electricity Market” and “Energy Grids”. Comments on the input paper could be submitted up to 31 October 2016. They have been published with the author’s permission. The input paper was discussed in detail in the working groups of the Electricity Market Platform and the Energy Grids Platform up to the end of 2016. The joint plenary of the Electricity Market Platform and the Energy Grid Platform reported on the results of the debate in the spring of 2017.

12 Trends12 Tasks
The system is shaped by the intermittent generation of electricity from wind and sun.Make the electricity system more flexible
There is a significant decline in the use of fossil fuels in the power plant fleet.Reduce carbon emissions reliably, shape structural change
The electricity markets are becoming more European.Integrate European electricity markets and make them more flexible
Guaranteeing security of supply within the European internal market.Evaluating security of supply on a European level, developing common instruments
Electricity is being used much more efficiently.Strengthen incentives for using electricity efficiently
Sector coupling: The heating sector, cars and industry use more and more renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels.Improve competitive conditions for renewable electricity in the heating and transport sectors
Modern CHP plants produce residual electricity and contribute to energy transition in the heating sector.Provide incentives for modern CHP systems
Biomass is being increasingly used in transport and industry.Provide incentives in such a way that biomass is used more in transport and industry
Well developed grid infrastructures create flexibility at a low cost.Expand the grid in a timely, needs-based and cost-effective way
The system remains stable even with high shares of renewable energy.Continue to develop and coordinate measures and processes for system stabilisation
Grid financing is fair and meets the needs of the system.Continue to develop regulations for grid charges
The energy sector is using the opportunities offered by digitalisation.Roll out smart metering, build communication platforms, guarantee system security

Input paper launches public discussions

Publishing the input paper marks the beginning of a broad-based discussion. This discussion is principally taking place within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy's energy transition platforms Electricity Market and Energy Grids. You may submit your comments on the input paper by email to strom2030@bmwi.bund.de by 31 October 2016. Please let us know if you agree with having your comments published, in which case we will make them available here.