A new study by Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) outlines the country's potential to achieve 100% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.
Setting a serious global standard, the UBA has been looking at three main scenarios for converting to 100% renewable energy:
- A "regions network"
- International large-scale technology application
- Local energy autarky.
The current study, 100% renewable electricity supply by 2050 [German only, pdf], which focuses on a "regions network", is based on findings from the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES).
The Low Down:
According to IWES, a "regions network" scenario was studied for four seasons, where all areas of Germany largely tap into their renewable energy potential, networked in a country-wide conversion for results.
The findings: Germany would require very little imported energy from neighboring countries, and fluctuations that would occur throughout the year would be safely compensated for by renewable energy sources, storage, and efficient load management.
In other words, secure, renewable energy guaranteed at all times. If that isn't an ambitious goal, I don't know what is.
2050 is still some forty years away, but as with anything change-related, you have to start early.
For the UBA, a power supply switch requires that renewable energies, networks and storage systems be expanded large-scale. Furthermore, the means to save electricity must also be used to the fullest extent.
Electricity supply, from coal fire plants, is responsible for about 40% of Germany’s total energy-related CO2 emissions. However, through Germany's Renewable Energy Act, changes are afoot.
“If we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%, we must switch to electricity supply from renewable energies as it is the only way to reduce the GHG emissions generated in electricity supply to zero," said Jochen Flasbarth, president of UBA.
Germany's current 5000 megawatt photovoltaic capacity is projected to reach 14000 MW this year.
The country is also the world's second-largest wind energy producer, second only to the United States, and has created over 300,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.
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