Germany risks missing its 2030 target of 65% renewables in the power mix unless it boosts its offshore wind ambition, and either fixes the problems that have led to a collapse in onshore wind additions or more than doubles its solar installations, according to think-tank Agora Energiewende.
Without those measures, renewables will only meet 55% of the country’s power needs by then, up from about 43% last year, the think-tank finds in its new report The renewable power gap, its effects, and how it can be bridged (in German here).
Germany’s 2030 offshore wind target would need to be raised to 25GW, Agora said, up from the current official target of 15GW, which the government has pledged to raise to 20GW without enshrining that into actual legislation so far.
Berlin would also need to bring the currently lacklustre growth of wind on land back to a long-term average of 4GW per year (only 1.08GW were added in 2019), or instead more than double solar additions to 10GW per year.
“The wind power crisis is going into its third year. That makes achieving the renewable energy targets for 2030 a real challenge already now,” Agora Energiewende director Patrick Graichen said.
“With that power prices and climate protection targets also come under pressure.”
Federal and state governments now must take quick and determined measures to revive the expansion of renewable energies, he added. Those include providing sufficient areas for wind farms, faster planning and permitting processes, a solar power promotion strategy, and a more ambitious planning for the build-up of offshore wind.
Instead of tackling the issues slowing down both onshore and offshore wind, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has been haggling internally about an ill-devised plan by her Christian Democrats for a damaging onshore wind distance rule, while delaying making a higher offshore wind target firm and holding promised special tenders for wind at sea.
Even a slow recovery in onshore wind installations to 2GW by 2023, raising the offshore wind target to only 20GW, and a continuation of relatively strong solar addition figures of 4GW (as seen last year) would only lead to a 55% renewables share in the power mix by 2030, the think tank found in it report.
For its estimate, Agora calculates a gross power consumption of 600 terawatt hours in Germany by 2030, which is about 20TWh higher than government predictions. Electric cars and an increasing use of heat pumps account for the expected rise.
The report shows different scenarios to close the ‘renewable power gap’ (Ökostromlücke) with either increased an solar or onshore wind expansion. Even higher annual additions are needed if Germany were to seriously start sector coupling in order to bring the energy transition also to industry, as well as the transport and heating sector.