Energy ministry prepares new calculations for higher German electricity demand – minister
German economic affairs and energy minister Peter Altmaier has said his ministry will submit new calculations for Germany’s expected energy demand in the coming years due to tougher climate targets. In an interview with financial weekly WirtschaftsWoche, Altmaier also discussed the government’s concrete proposals for a faster expansion of renewables, particularly photovoltaics (PV) and wind energy. “Due to the more stringent climate targets in Germany and the EU, we have to assume a significantly higher electricity demand than was previously assumed,” Altmaier said, adding that he planned to present specific proposals to significantly expand offshore wind power and other renewable energy sources far beyond previously planned levels. By 2030, all public buildings in Germany should be climate-neutral and equipped with PV, he added. An increase in permits and faster approval process should also increase the expansion of onshore wind generation in Germany. To that end, Altmaier said it would be necessary to apply nature conservation law more uniformly across the country.
Germany already produces nearly half of its electricity via renewables but the EU’s Green Deal and the recent ruling by Germany’s highest court has accelerated the need to transition to renewables, including the development of a hydrogen economy. Responding to Almaier’s call for a faster expansion, Simone Peter, president of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), said it was “better late than never”. The BEE warned in 2019 that Germany was approaching a massive green electricity gap. “Gross electricity consumption will increase significantly from 571 terawatt hours (TWh, as of 2019) to 745 TWh in 2030,” it added.