Monitoring the Energy Transition; Source: iStock.com/manfeiyang

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Why are we monitoring the energy transition?

The Federal Government's monitoring process "Energy of the Future" has been set up to track the energy transition on a continuous basis: how far have we come with the energy transition? What measures have already been implemented? What are the effects? Will we achieve our goals, or do we need to do some fine-tuning

The central task of the monitoring process is to analyse the reams of statistical information on energy that have been collected and then condense it and make it easy to understand. This involves an assessment of measures that have already been taken and work to pinpoint areas in which further efforts need to be made. In this way, each annual report provides an overview of the energy transition and the stage that it is at this point in time. We need to know where we have got to before we can decide what steps to take next.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been appointed lead ministry for the monitoring process for the energy transition. The Monitoring Report for each year is approved by the Federal Cabinet and transmitted to the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

Also involved in the process is an independent commission of four renowned energy experts, who provide advice for the drafting process and a scientific opinion on the Monitoring Report: The commission consists of Prof Dr Andreas Löschel (chairman) and Prof Dr Frithjof Staiß, who have been members before, and Prof Dr Veronika Grimm and Prof Dr Barbara Lenz, who have joined the commission for the new term as of 1 July 2019. They replaced Prof Dr Georg Erdmann and Dr Hans-Joachim Ziesing, who were members until the end of June 2019. Their scientific opinion is published alongside the Federal Government’s report.

The Monitoring Report - An annual update of the facts relating to the energy transition

At the heart of the monitoring process for the energy transition is the Monitoring Report, which is published on an annual basis. The purpose of this report is to condense the reams of statistical information on energy that have been collected into a smaller, more manageable number of selected indicators. This information provides a fact-based overview of the current status of progress with regard to implementation of the energy reforms.

Each year, the report provides information about the progress achieved in the preceding year. The Federal Government also uses the report to meet its information requirements under the Energy Industry Act and the Renewable Energy Sources Act.

The Progress Report on the energy transition - where are we and where do we want to go?

Every three years, the Federal Government publishes a Progress Report on the energy transition (PDF: 4,2 MB). The first report of this kind was published on 3 December 2014.

The Progress Report provides for a wide overview of the energy transition, thus allowing for deeper analysis over a longer period of time, which makes it possible for trends to be discerned. The report also looks at whether we are track to attain the goals and targets set out in the Energy Concept, and at what additional measures might need to be taken. The annual monitoring report is incorporated into the Progress Report, which allows the annual reporting to take place at its usual time. For diagrams relating to the Progress Report, please click here.

What data is used in the monitoring of the energy transition?

The monitoring process for the energy transition is based on energy-related statistics. The main source of this data is official energy statistics. Further data and statistics are supplied by the Federal Network Agency, the Federal Environment Agency, the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the German Institute for Economic Research, Statistik der Kohlenwirtschaft (an organisation tasked with providing the Government with statistics from the coal industry), the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics, and the Working Group on Energy Balances. The data are publicly accessible in electronic form on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Network Agency.

The Energy Statistics Act is the national legal basis for the official energy statistics. In order to adapt the Act to the current situation on the national and international energy markets, the Bundestag adopted a draft amendment to the Act on 26 January 2017. The revised Energy Statistics Act (in German) entered into force on 10 March 2017.

The Federal Court of Auditors has examined the measures taken by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to implement the energy transition. Comments and information from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on the findings of the Federal Court of Auditors can be found here (in German) (PDF, 490 KB) and here (in German) (PDF, 144 KB).