The share of electricity from renewable energies in Germany is expected to increase to 80 percent by 2030. But there is still a lot to do in restructuring the electricity market – many other countries are doing better.
When it comes to restructuring the electricity market, Germany performs only mediocrely compared to other European countries. This is the result of a study by the British association for renewable energy – Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology – together with the energy management company Eaton.
The experts evaluated and compared the framework conditions for the energy transition away from fossil fuels in 14 European countries. Accordingly, on a scale of 1 to 6, Germany ends up in the lower midfield at level 4, together with Italy and Spain.
The Federal Republic has thus improved somewhat. In this country, for example, there is great social acceptance of the energy transition. In the ranking, however, only Greece, Switzerland and Poland, at the bottom, are placed in worse classes. As in previous years, Norway led the way, ahead of Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
Heat pumps are not very common in Germany
The “Energy Transition Readiness Index” evaluates countries in terms of social support for the energy transition, their ability to use new technologies and business models and the flexibility of the energy market.
The authors found, among other things, that the spread of intelligent electricity meters in Germany is “extremely low” at one percent – in Nordic countries such as Denmark the penetration is up to 100 percent. The networked measuring devices for heat or electricity automatically transmit consumption data to providers and also make them visible to users.
Heat pumps are also relatively less common in Germany, it was said. “In this country there are only 38 devices per 1,000 households, while in Norway there are 625, in Sweden 503 and in Finland 438.” On the other hand, the authors say that Germany, along with Great Britain, has made one of the biggest improvements in its attractiveness for investors.
Electricity storage must be promoted
With the gradual phase-out of coal and gas, network operators have to bring the fluctuating energy production from wind and electricity into line with demand. Flexibility is essential for network stability, it said. To achieve this, electricity storage would have to be promoted.
Germany has the largest electricity market of all the countries examined. Countries such as Norway and Sweden cover their needs better in percentage terms with renewable energies, although Germany produces the most electricity from renewable energies.
Last year, the share of German electricity consumption from renewable energies was 45 percent, after 41 percent in 2021. The federal government has set the goal of generating 80 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2023. The study estimates consumption to be 658 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2030. To achieve the 80 percent target, renewable generation would have to increase by 276 TWh.