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Significance of the Energy Transition
In recent decades, the ambitious “energy transition” project has been causing social debates about the power supply of the future. How can we generate clean electricity and, above all, at what price? Moving away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy not only offers great economic potential for the renewables industry, but also an opportunity for all of us to use the extisting resources responsibly for future generations.
According to the Frauenhofer Institute’s report, dated January 4, 2021, the share of renewable energies in net electricity generation amounts to a total of 50.5 percent. One of the leading technologies in the implementation of the energy transition is wind energy, which currently leads electricity generation with a share of 27 percent of total electricity generation.
Furthermore, the Frauenhofer Institute stated that onshore and offshore wind energy produced approximately 132 TWh in 2020 (an increase of 4.6 percent), making it once again the strongest energy source in Germany, followed by lignite, nuclear energy, natural gas and photovoltaics.
Due to the amended Renewable Energy Sources Act 2017 and the associated tendering procedure, the expansion of onshore wind energy in 2020 has once again decreased sharply. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and its 2021 Renewable Energy Sources Act, the expansion of renewable energies, in particular wind energy, is expected to pick up momentum again. The German government is planning to have an installed capacity for onshore wind energy of 71 GW by 2030 (2020: 54.4 GW). Facilitations were also implemented in the Federal Immission Control Act with regard to repowering projects for onshore wind turbines. The amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2021 is also intended to increase local acceptance. Voluntary payments by the wind farm operator of 0.2 ct./kWh will enable affected municipalities to benefit directly from the added value of wind energy in the communities.
The German government would like renewable energies to account for 65 percent of electricity consumption by 2030. This target, if achieved, would significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Germany. However, this can only be achieved if policymakers continue to ensure secure framework conditions and do not hinder the energy transition process. In addition, the expansion of the grid and the development of new storage technologies must be bolstered and advanced.