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04 Dec 2020, 13:01
Kerstine Appunn

Energy law reform inadequate for German 2030 renewables target – analysis

Tagesspiegel Background

Germany will fail to achieve its 2030 target of a 65 percent renewables share in power consumption, even with added ambition in the latest draft for the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) reform, a new analysis by consultancy Aurora Energy Research finds. According to the calculations shared with energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background, the draft law would see renewables capacity grow to 184 gigawatts (GW), enough for contributing a share of 54 percent of power consumption. In order to to make it to the targeted 65 percent, a capacity of 237 GW would be needed, the analysis found.

Like other experts and stakeholders who have weighed in on the renewables law reform, Aurora Energy Research bases its calculations on higher power consumption in 2030. It has been a very common criticism of the government draft bill that it fails to account for rising power needs in the mobility and heating sectors, as e-cars and electric heating technologies are expected to be rolled out at a large scale over the next decade. In addition, the analysis projects lower growth in wind power, biomass and solar PV capacity than the government anticipates, due to undersubscribed auctions, issues with local planning procedures and too little profit prospects at times of low wholesale power prices. Since the hurdles to onshore wind power expansion are hard to overcome, the analysts suggest that more solar PV installations could be needed to fill the capacity gap.

Parliament is slated to pass by year-end the latest revision of the Renewable Energy Act, which 20 years ago initiated the expansion of renewable energy installations in Germany by giving generous feed-in tariffs to producers. However, last-minute additions by the energy ministry and opposition from the states could still derail this timeline. Moreover, a higher EU emission reduction target for 2030 would also mean new goals for Germany and its renewables production. Environment minister Svenja Schulze recently called for an increase of the renewables share in power consumption to up to 80 percent by 2030.

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