Electricity demand in Germany set to soar to 700 billion kWh by 2030 – energy industry
Clean Energy Wire
As Germany seeks to achieve its 2030 climate protection targets with an increasing number of electric vehicles, heat pumps and hydrogen development, electricity demand will increase to some 700 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually by the end of the decade, according to figures published by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). Last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, electricity consumption dipped to 545.3 billion kWh, from 567.6 billion kWh in 2019. In order to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2045, BDEW estimates that by 2030 the country will require around 14 million electric vehicles, 5 to 6 million heat pumps and 15 gigawatts of electrolysis capacity for hydrogen production.
“Despite the steadily increasing efficiency of electrical devices, it is to be expected that electricity consumption will increase significantly,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. “In order to replace fossil fuels, there will also be significantly more demand for green electricity in the areas of transport, heating and industry in the future. Increasing digitalization will also increase electricity consumption.” Germany will have to expand renewable energy sources with much more ambition if it is to achieve climate neutrality by the year 2045, she added. By 2030 the country would need a renewables share of 70 percent. “And it makes a difference whether we have to generate 500 billion kWh of electricity that is at least 70 percent renewable or 700 billion kWh. We need an unprecedented PV boom and we must finally remove the obstacles to the expansion of wind energy. With the higher climate targets, the expansion and renovation of the energy networks will be even more urgent than it already is."
The BDEW’s assessment calls for higher levels of renewable energy than the government has set in its latest version of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which calls for a 65 percent target by 2030. As recently as last November energy minister Peter Altmaier was ridiculed for insisting that Germany would consume less electricity in 2030 than it does today. Almaier claimed that power demand would fall from about 580 billion kWh in 2019 to 570 billion kWh in 2030 due to increased efficiency, an assessment that according to critics failed to take into account the rapid rise of electricity intensive e-cars, heat pumps and green hydrogen production.