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16 Nov 2021, 13:44
Kerstine Appunn

Energy ministry raises estimate for Germany’s 2030 power need

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s electricity consumption will rise to 658 terawatt-hours (TWh) by the end of the decade, the energy ministry (BMWi) said on 11 November, releasing new estimates by consultancy Prognos. The updated estimate – previous calculations had shown a range of 645-665 TWh to be the likely power need in 2030 – is higher due to a rising share of e-mobility (+68 TWh), electric heat pumps (+35 TWh) in buildings and heating grids, the production of hydrogen (+20 TWh) and batteries as well as data centres, the BMWi writes in a press release. On the other hand, increasing electric power efficiency and declining own consumption of coal and nuclear power plants reduce the need for power, the ministry writes. In 2018, Germany’s net power consumption was 595 TWh.

The new power consumption figure is based on a detailed analysis by Prognos, which also delivered the slightly lower estimates in July 2021. Electricity consumption estimates are crucial for planning Germany’s energy transition, as they provide the basis for renewable energy capacity targets, which in turn must be in line with the emission reduction goals. In 2020, the BMWi based the reform of renewable expansion targets on a 2030 power need estimate of 580 TWh, which was widely considered too low. After sustained criticism, the ministry had the figures recalculated.

Energy industry association BDEW commented that the digitalisation would increase power consumption further and said its own estimates showed an even higher demand of 700 TWh in 2030. "In our view, a higher share of renewable energies in electricity generation of 70 per cent by 2030 is necessary if the climate targets are to be achieved," BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said in a press release.

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