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Decarbonization and regulation of Germany's electricity system after Fukushima

  • Germany's current efforts to decarbonize its electricity system are analysed. As nuclear power and fossil power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage were ruled out in 2011, renewable electricity generation (RES) together with electricity savings are the primary focus for achieving decarbonization. Germany aims to have RES account for at least 80% of its electricity by 2050. Achieving renewable generation needs strong political support and regulatory provisions for its market integration. Four main technical and regulatory challenges are the maintenance of a steady and efficient expansion of RES, the provision of balancing capacities, the realization of the targeted electricity savings, and the smart adaptation of the transportGermany's current efforts to decarbonize its electricity system are analysed. As nuclear power and fossil power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage were ruled out in 2011, renewable electricity generation (RES) together with electricity savings are the primary focus for achieving decarbonization. Germany aims to have RES account for at least 80% of its electricity by 2050. Achieving renewable generation needs strong political support and regulatory provisions for its market integration. Four main technical and regulatory challenges are the maintenance of a steady and efficient expansion of RES, the provision of balancing capacities, the realization of the targeted electricity savings, and the smart adaptation of the transport and distribution grid. An overview of the existing and planned regulatory provisions for decarbonization are described, and some gaps identified, particularly with regard to the overall management of the process, the inclusion of electricity savings and the interference of Germany's decarbonization strategies with neighbouring countries. Policies that both accelerate grid expansion and direct RES expansion should immediately be put in place and can be supported by a targeted mobilization of balancing capacities. Electricity savings are a significant and cost-efficient strategy for low-carbon electricity. Policy relevance: Germany is actively converting its national electricity system towards a fully renewable one. As renewable electricity has reached about a quarter of total consumption, a number of technical and regulatory challenges arise. Current discussions and plans are described for the four main challenges: maintaining and optimizing high investment rates into RES generation technologies, providing balancing capacities, reducing demand, and adapting the grid to the changing needs. Policy recommendations for these four tasks highlight the need to intensify electricity demand reduction and also consider the potential interactions between the German electricity system and its neighbouring countries.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Stefan LechtenböhmerORCiDGND, Hans-Jochen Luhmann
URN (citable link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:bsz:wup4-opus-46999
Year of Publication:2013
Language:English
Source Title (English):Climate policy
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2013.754605
Volume:13
Issue:S01
First Page:146
Last Page:154
Division:Zukünftige Energie- und Industriesysteme
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Politik
Licence:License LogoIn Copyright - Urheberrechtlich geschützt