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03 Jun 2019, 14:01
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy industry group says Germany must add 50 GW secured capacity by 2038

Clean Energy Wire

With a combination of more wind and solar power, gas-fired power plants, as well as more storage capacity, Germany must add up to 50 gigawatts (GW) of secured capacity to its power system by 2038 to cope with the phase-out of nuclear and coal-fired power production, energy industry lobby group BDEW says. “This means the energy supply in Germany has to be completely restructured within less than 20 years,” BDEW says, arguing that 43 GW of secured capacity will have gone due to the country’s coal exit by 2038 and a further 10.8 GW due to the nuclear exit already by 2022. Germany will have to replace more than half of its current conventional power production capacity to avoid any danger to supply security, BDEW says, adding that increased sector coupling and flexible storage solutions, such as cyclic “power-to-x-to-power” systems, are needed to accomplish the parallel phase-out of nuclear and coal power.

Securing a stable power supply amid the transition to renewable energy sources has been a key concern of German energy policy in recent years. However, while predictions about the implications of a coal exit on the stability of the country’s power system vary, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) stated that Germany can decommission half of its coal power plants by 2030 without endangering supply security.  

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