50Hertz, the transmission system operator responsible for all of Eastern Germany and the country’s two biggest cities – Berlin and Hamburg –, has set itself the target of getting the power demand in its grid area covered and securely integrated with 100% renewable energies by 2032.

That is up from an annual average share of renewables in its area of about 60% last year.

“Today’s parallel existence of a conventional fossil generation system and an energy system based on renewable sources is coming to an end. Wind and solar energy must be able to provide ancillary services in the future,” 50Hertz chief executive Stefan Kapferer said.

“We are determined to drive this transition forward, but now with new and full speed. This way, 50Hertz sends a clear signal, not only regarding climate policy, but also and especially to industry policy makers: more and more companies know that renewables are the future, and they want to align their energy supply accordingly. We want to and will support this process.”

The TSO’s 'from 60 to 100 by 2032' strategy comes as the net electricity generation in Europe’s largest economy during the first half of this year reached a record 55.8%, helped by strong winds, lots of sun and a lower power demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

50Hertz said it will align its entire corporate strategy with the new objective and use all its know-how to operate the grid securely and reliably. This involves new approaches to system operation, a consistent digitalisation of the integration of an increasingly volatile electricity supply as well as the participation in innovative models of sector coupling to generate heat and produce hydrogen from green power.

The company also seeks to support the federal and state governments to deploy suitable areas and further potentials for the use of wind and solar power.

The strategy is also aligned with the EU’s target to become climate neutral by 2050, and supported by Belgium’s Elia Group, which owns the majority in 50Hertz.

“The energy transition is our number one priority. Together with our German partner KfW [Germany’s development bank], we fully support the entire 50Hertz organisation to cover the electricity demand in their grid area with 100% renewable energy by 2032,” Elia chief executive Chris Peeters said.

“The objective emphasises the pioneering role that 50Hertz is playing in the integration of large quantities of renewable energy production in both the German and European energy system.”