Electricity consumption is increasing faster than expected

Wind turbine for power generation

The actual demand for renewable energies may exceed the calculations.


(Photo: dpa)

Berlin On the way to the desired climate neutrality by 2050, according to a study, the demand for electricity in Germany will increase sharply. According to a calculation by several institutes for the Agora Energiewende and Verkehrswende think tanks, as well as the Climate Neutrality Foundation, consumption would have to climb by 60 percent compared to 2018 due to the switch from oil and gas to electrical energy, for example . A short version has already been published, and the detailed study will follow on Monday. According to this, electricity demand will already be higher in 2030 than the Ministry of Economic Affairs assumes in a current draft law on the expansion of green electricity.

In 2018, gross electricity consumption in Germany was 595 terawatt hours (TWh), that is 595 billion kilowatt hours. According to the study, if climate protection goes ahead at the necessary pace, it would be 643 TWh by 2030 – mainly because more cars and heating systems are powered by electricity instead of oil or gas. By 2050, oil, coal and natural gas are unlikely to play a role at all, but hydrogen would have to be produced as an energy carrier, which requires a lot of electricity – the experts come to 962 TWh, around 62 percent more than in 2018. The increasing efficiency had a braking effect from electrical appliances and lamps.

The Bundestag is currently discussing a reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, which is intended to accelerate the expansion of green electricity – the goal is 65 percent green electricity by 2030, according to the coalition agreement between the Union and the SPD.

For 2030, the draft by Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) assumes 580 TWh electricity consumption. Energy associations also consider this to be too little. However, the draft also refers to uncertainties – the forecast is regularly evaluated and adjusted if necessary. The SPD has already announced numerous requests for changes. Group vice Matthias Miersch told the dpa that Altmaier “apparently only wanted to bake small rolls again.”

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