6 STROM 2030: LANGFRISTIGE TRENDS – AUFGABEN FÜR DIE KOMMENDEN JAHRE manner. This is what is meant by “sector coupling”. For example, electric cars can run with electricity drawn directly from batteries, generating zero emissions, or heat pumps and electric boilers can convert electricity to heat in order to warm our homes. However, there are sectors where electric mobility will be difficult to introduce, such as in the case of the aviation sector, shipping and heavy-duty traffic, or construction equipment and agricultural machines. Here it is important to also keep other options open, such as the use of biofuels, or liquid and gas-based fuels produced using renewable energy. To en able the use of electricity in the transport, buildings and industry sectors, exemptions from surcharges, fees and levies are not the way forward. Rather, what we need is free-market competition among the technologies so that electricity prices remain affordable. A level playing field calls for the general reform of surcharges, fees and taxes. 3. Power grids, flexible power stations, flexible consumers and storage systems balance intermittent feed-in from wind and sun in a cost-effective manner. The amount of power available from the wind and sun depends on the weather. Feed-in from these renewable sources therefore varies during the day and throughout the year. Despite these fluctuations, the supply of electricity must always remain secure and affordable – an ever-greater challenge with an increasing share of renewables in the electricity mix. What options are available to flexibly balance these fluctuations? Power grids ensure that cheaper wind power from the north and east of Germany or from Denmark, for example, covers the demand in the major centres of consumption in the south of the country. The consumer side also offers serious potential by being able to adapt flexibly to the fluctuations. Where economically viable, large consumers in industry or cold-storage depots can shift their demand for electricity when winds are low, for instance. In addition, flexible power stations and storage systems can balance the fluctuations. The power stations respond flexibly and start up or shut down depending on the availability of wind and solar power. The major hydropower storage installations and pumped storage reservoirs in Germany, the Alps and Scandinavia can store and release electricity as needed. 4. A secure supply of electricity is cheaper in a European setting. In the European internal market, electricity flows between countries via cross-border lines. Electricity is traded across borders on the exchange: producers of electricity can sell their products to customers at home and abroad. Anyone consuming electricity can buy electricity wherever it is the cheapest. This European network offers advantages for everyone involved: electricity that is not needed in one particular country at a certain time can cover the demand in another country, and vice versa. This means that less capacity is required overall, thereby driving down costs. The fact that we can, if necessary, access the electricity production capacities of our neighbours increases the security of supply in Germany. Therefore, the times when we considered security of supply from a “national” perspective are long gone. A combination of power stations, consumers and storage systems both in Germany and abroad are responsible for guaranteeing security of supply nowadays. 5. Green technologies “Made in Germany” create export and growth opportunities. The energy transition creates new opportunities for German businesses. It is the showcase for innovative, green technologies made in Germany. According to experts, environmental and climate-friendly technologies are expected to have a global market volume of €5.4 trillion by 2025. This gives German industry enormous export opportunities, as well as opportunities for growth and jobs. By 2013, German companies had already achieved a market volume of roughly €350 billion in this sector, thereby securing a global market share of 14%. 1. What needs to be done in the coming years? Couple the electricity, heating and transport sectors. Electricity is currently at a competitive disadvantage in the transport sector, and particularly in the heating sector: fossil fuels are more cost-competitive than electricity because more surcharges, fees and levies apply to electricity. However, we should not make electricity for heating and transport cheaper 1. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants (2014): GreenTech-Atlas 4.0, Environmental Technology Atlas for Germany
STROM 2030: LANGFRISTIGE TRENDS – AUFGABEN FÜR DIE KOMMENDEN JAHRE 7 through new exemptions for heating pumps, electric cars or power-to-X technologies, as this would increase the price of electricity for other electricity consumers. A reform of the system of surcharges, fees and taxes should facilitate sector coupling and involve all consumers under fair conditions. Make the electricity system more flexible. Regulations are still in place that hamper flexible behaviour on the part of the market players. These are known as “barriers to flexibility”. These barriers need to be removed if all technologies are to enjoy the same access to the market. For example, aggregators can bundle and market flexibility for small consumers. It is also important to grant wind and solar power, flexible consumers and storage systems greater access to the market for balancing capacity. Grid charges can also influence the flexible behaviour of the market players. Competition among the various options for the provision of this flexibility guarantees low-cost solutions. We must not favour certain technologies by providing unilateral support and making individual exceptions. Such decisions are best left to the market. Expand the grids. Germany has one of the most powerful and reliable power grids in the world. The grids constitute the central infrastructure that brings together the generation and consumption of electricity in a cost-effective manner. We need more grids to ensure that we can continue to maintain a high degree of supply security in the future with the increasingly decentralised production of electricity. Therefore we will continue to expand and upgrade our power grids in the years ahead, while bearing in mind the concerns of the parties affected. To this end, it is essential that the Federal Government, the Länder and municipalities all pull together and seek early dialog with the public. Grid planning should give greater consideration than hitherto to measures that reduce future additional grid expansion. Modern heating networks are central to a largely climate-neutral heating supply system. The heating networks will be modernised and upgraded to allow heat from combined heat and power plants, large-scale heat pumps, electric boilers, solar thermal, geothermal and waste heat into buildings. Integrate and flexibilise European markets further. More European competition in the electricity markets means lower prices. It is therefore right to rapidly complete the integration of the electricity wholesale sector in Europe. Regional cooperation and partnerships promote the integration of the European electricity markets. Flexible European electricity markets respond to the intermittent feed-in of electricity from wind and solar power. When winds are low in the north of Germany, stronger wind conditions in other European countries can compensate this, for instance. This presupposes, for example, that market players across Europe balance and bill production and consumption on a quarter-hour basis, and not only on an hourly basis as is often the case today. Assess security of supply in a European context. We have made tremendous progress in the assessment of security of supply in recent years. Growing interconnectedness in Europe leaves no doubt that assessments from a purely national perspective are clearly outdated in the internal market for electricity. The logical conclusion, therefore, is to conduct a “state of the art” assessment of the security of supply, i. e. in a European context. Conversely, in this context it is also important to check whether – in critical situations – we can also rely on the cross-border availability of generation capacities in neighbouring countries for national security of supply.