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16 Jan 2020, 13:14
Freja Eriksen

Mix of centralised and decentralised technologies key to successful Energiewende – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

Only a mix of centralised and decentralised technologies can make German energy supply "climate-friendly, secure and affordable," say researchers from three of the country's most influential academic institutions – acatech, Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities – in an expert opinion. The challenge for Germany lies in integrating the different elements into a functioning system, say the researchers who cooperate through the Energy Systems for the Future (ESYS) initiative. Coordinating this system could be made easier through the use of digitalisation. No matter the future balance between centralised and decentralised energy supply, expanding the country's transmission and distribution grid will be indispensable for the energy transition, they say.

If Germany is to become climate neutral by 2050, all potentials of expanding wind and solar PV must be unlocked – from solar panels on roofs to dual uses, such as wind energy in agriculture, energy imports and offshore wind. Such measures could defuse some of the existing conflicts regarding land use for renewables, write the researchers. Strengthening citizens' opportunities to participate in the energy transition politically as well as financially, through for example "a federal citizen and community investment participation law," could also improve its public acceptance, the researchers write in their opinion. They also recommend that small-scale individual regulations should be replaced by a new, streamlined regulatory system.

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