05 Jan 2023, 13:37
Sören Amelang

Germany’s coal and nuclear power exit will not lead to electricity shortage – grid agency

Germany will not experience an electricity shortage as a result of an exit from coal and nuclear power generation if it rolls out renewables as planned, even if the country’s power consumption rises due to heat pumps, electric cars, and hydrogen electrolysers, the country’s grid agency (BNetzA) said in a preview to the period 2025 to 2031, according to a summary provided by the economy and climate ministry (BMWK). “The results show: security of supply is also guaranteed in the future, even if electricity consumption increases significantly, the nuclear power plants are shut down and coal is phased out by 2030,” the summary seen by Clean Energy Wire stated. “Until 2031, demand in Germany can be met by the market in all hours of the year,” the summary continued. The country’s three remaining nuclear power plants are due to be taken off grid in mid-April, and the government aims to bring forward the exit from coal from the agreed 2038 phase-out date, ‘ideally’ to 2030.

The grid agency prepares a monitoring report on electricity supply security for the government every two years. A draft of the report has reached consultation phase between ministries. In the analysis, the agency assumed a rapid rollout of renewables from 123 gigawatts in 2021 to 360 gigawatts in 2030 according to government targets, as well as the construction of new gas-fired power plants with a capacity of  between 17 and 21 gigawatts by 2031, ministry sources told Clean Energy Wire. It also presumes that Europe’s electricity market will function well to allow cross-border electricity trade. Supply security can be guaranteed at lower costs if the construction of new power plants is also combined with an increased flexibility of supply and demand, according to the summary.

The rollout of renewables in Germany is widely considered the key stumbling block to furthering the country’s landmark energy transition. Yet recent expansion rates have not kept up with government targets.

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