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Analysis of the German Renewable Energy Action Plan

Analysis of the German Renewable Energy Action Plan

27 October 2010

Do the National Renewable Energy Action Plans concerning Member States’ goals for 2020 address the long-term restructuring of electricity generation? Do they consider possibilities for European cooperation? The Ecologic Institute examined these questions in its analysis of the German Renewable Energy Action Plan commissioned by the European Green Foundation. Ecologic Institute Senior Fellow Stephan Sina presented the results of this study as a panelist at a discussion hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation on 27 October 2010.

Directive 2009/28/EG requires Germany to increase the percentage of renewable energies in its final energy consumption to 18% and to outline in an Action Plan how it intends to achieve this goal. The short study [pdf, 2.35 MB, German] conducted by the Ecologic Institute provides an overview over the German Renewable Energy Action Plan before examining whether Germany is likely to achieve its goals for 2020.

The main focus of the analysis concerns the question whether the Action Plan considers implications for after 2020 and possibilities for European cooperation. In this context, the study also factors in the recently adopted energy concept of the Federal Government. The analysis ends with additional suggestions for measures. In the main, the study concludes that Germany will presumably reach or even surpass its 2020 goal for the electricity sector if it adheres to the applicable framework and conditions announced by the Action Plan. Measures for the long-term restructuring of electricity generation were proposed mainly by the energy concept, since its strategy covers the timeframe up to 2050. It remains unclear, however, how conventional power parks are to develop in a changed electricity system with increasingly decentralized and fluctuating power generation. Measures for European Cooperation are also primarily considered in the energy concept. They can heighten the security of energy supply and reduce costs, but need to be implemented as soon as possible if the desired effects are to be realized until 2050.

The analyses of the German and Swedish Action Plans were presented at a panel discussion on “Energy for the future of Europe – do 27 National Action Plans amount to one European energy policy?”, which was hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Stephan Sina, Fellow with the Ecologic Institute, and Mats Abrahamsson of factwise Stockholm discussed the findings of the analyses with Andree Böhling of Greenpeace and Carsten Pfeiffer of the German Green Party, with Bastian Hermisson of the Heinrich Böll Foundation chairing. The discussion highlighted the need to build and expand both large-scale transeuropean and supraregional “electricity highways” as well as small-scale intelligent smart grid structures. A reception followed the panel discussion. The European Green Foundation will publish a volume containing an English version of the analysis of the German Renewable Energy Action Plan along with studies of the Action Plans of other Member States in the near future.

27 October 2010
Berlin, Germany
energy policy, renewable energies, Renewable Energies Directive, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Green European Foundation, National A