How to digest energy contradictions arising from the restructuring of Germany

Polaris solar PV net news: “energy transformation” (German Energie-wende) the Word may come from the earliest 1980 Germany energy transition published by the Academy of Sciences: no report on the growth and prosperity of oil and uranium. The report calls for the complete abandonment of nuclear power and fossil fuels. This view was initially strongly opposed, but gradually became Germany’s energy policy in detail. After 2002, “energy transformation” meaning evolved into “looking at distributed renewable energy and energy efficiency”, and the ultimate goal is to develop 100% energy system based on renewable energy.

Germany energy natural conditions are not good, apart from the relatively abundant coal reserves, and dependence on oil and gas imports, total energy self-sufficiency rate is about 30%. To this end, Germany submitted a transition to renewable energy, direction and development goals, and to achieve better results. By 2014, Germany 27.8% from renewable sources in electricity consumption, a 11.9% energy consumption provided by renewable energy (including electricity, water and garbage power generation). Worth noting is that Germany renewable energy development “merit” is achievable in resources did not stand out. In light conditions, for example, Germany solar radiation is very low, full load operating hours of photovoltaic power generation per year and only about 800 hours, only for the United States 50%. Therefore, Germany current achievements and experiences of energy transformation in world-wide attention. For a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of Germany energy transformation, from Germany energy transformation “background” paper in the near future (2020) objectives for rulers in transition, a comprehensive assessment of progress in its transformation.


How to digest energy contradictions arising from the restructuring of Germany mirror

Energy transformation

From the historical perspective, so far, energy transformation of human society has experienced and is experiencing twice: the first is energy transition to a fossil fuel plants, second fossil to non-fossil fuel energy transformation. At present, the major European countries of energy transformation in the move “a second transition” entrance. This transition starts and, first of all with hydro, wind, solar, biomass and other modern energy “prime mover” unfolded in the invention and application of. However, since the early 21st century, as human greenhouse gas contributing to global warming and its deepening understanding of hazards, second energy transformation from a “spontaneous” process into “self promote” process. In this context, Germany’s energy policy from the simple pursuit of “energy security” towards curbing global warming, and make great efforts to promote the development of renewable energy as the most important way to prevent global warming.

Germany this shift of energy policy, is based on the rational selection of its own energy supply and demand changes. Includes two reasons:

Is Germany the main high dependence on imports of fossil fuel consumption. Germany features of traditional energy resources are “lack of oil and gas rich coal” (coal-rich oil resources have little natural gas resources are scarce). Therefore, the demand for long-term dependence on oil and gas imports. In the 1990 of the 20th century, the Germany chronically high dependence on foreign oil and gas consumption. 1990-2013 Germany fluctuation dependence on imported oil has been 94.6%-100%, and no obvious signs of decline. The same period, although the degree of dependence on imports of natural gas than oil, but the growth trend, from 86.8% in 1990 to 75.6% per cent in 2013.

Persistently high degree of dependence on oil and gas imports and Germany great pressure on energy security, how to reduce oil imports, improve energy security became his main goal of long-term energy policy, but also makes great efforts to promote renewable energy development-renewable alternative to fossil fuels, increasing the urgency of promoting energy transition. It is in this context of energy supply and demand change, Germany since in the early 1990 of the 20th century, started a policy-driven road to renewable energy development. However, Germany “promoting change to renewable energy systems as a whole,” identified as a national strategy, and to develop energy transition goal, is gradually formed after 2009.

Second, Germany’s energy consumption and per capita consumption in the early 1980 of the 20th century to enter the reduction stage. In the early 1980 of the 20th century, Germany entered the energy consumption reduction phase. In 1965-2013, Germany in 1979 for primary energy consumption, are divided into increments and decrements in two stages. 1965-1979, the primary energy consumption increased from 256 million tons of oil equivalent to 371 million tons of oil equivalent, with an annual increase of 2.7% 1979-2013, from 371 million tons of oil equivalent of primary energy consumption reduced from 325 million tons of oil equivalent, with an average annual decline 0.4%.

Germany oil consumption and energy consumption is consistent with the trends, and the downward trend is more obvious. 1965-1979 Germany oil consumption increased from 86.3 million tons to 163.2 million tons, with an annual increase of 4.7%, over the same period growth rate of primary energy 1979-2013, reduced oil consumption from 163.2 million tons to 112.1 million tons, with an average annual decline 1.1%, decreases over the same period of primary energy. By contrast, earlier Germany gas consumption is still increasing. 1965-1979 Germany natural gas consumption increased from 2.6 million tons of oil equivalent to 52.4 million tons of oil equivalent, with an annual increase of 23.9% 1979-2013, from 52.4 million tons of oil equivalent of natural gas consumption increased from 75.3 million tons of oil equivalent, with an annual increase of 1.1%. Obviously, since 1979, Germany natural gas consumption growth rate is greatly reduced, but the increase phase is far from over. And, with Germany the advancement of renewable energy in transition, its natural gas consumption even once again entered a phase of accelerated development.

In short, Germany primary energy consumption and consumers into “total decline” and “per capita decline” phase, in order to promote renewable energy alternative to fossil fuels provide favorable external conditions.

Energy transition objectives established

Germany energy transformation goals, was made in promoting the development of renewable energy in the process and ultimately established. In other words, Germany is not put forward ambitious goals for renewable energy development from the outset, but first of all established the direction of promoting renewable energy development, and then gradually put forward in a gradual process, phased goals, so as to make the goal more realistic. Because Germany, enacted in 1991, the force transmission Act of promoting renewable energy development is very limited. In 1998, Germany amended the mandatory transmission Act by introducing a “double quota” requirement that electricity suppliers to buy renewable power percentage up to 5% of its total capacity, enjoy premium subsidies for renewable electricity in specific regions, the region’s proportion of total capacity of not more than 10%. Meanwhile, Germany Government also implemented a focus on renewable energy projects. For example, in January 1999, Germany introduced by the Government in the European Union European “million solar roofs plan” under the strategic framework, announced 5 years of “100,000 solar roofs plan”, the Federal Government provides 460 million euro budget for the plan. These bills and projects to promote Germany wind power and played a positive role in the development of photovoltaic power generation.

In 2000, in Germany share of renewable energy in the Northern 10% after almost reaches the upper limit, the force transmission Act “double cap” provision from the promoting factors of wind power generation, become obstacles to further development. To this end, Germany enacted in 2000 to promote Germany renewable the all-round development of the renewable energy law of priority. The law established Germany to promote renewable energy development the basic legal framework and policy measures. Then the law changed several times, formally presented in the 2009 revised edition, by 2020 renewable energy in electricity consumption accounted for more than 30%.

Apart from the electric field,, Germany measures to promote renewable energy development is also extended to transport, heating and other major energy-consuming industries. In December 2007, Germany modify gas use regulations set up to 2020 and 2030, bio-methane in Germany respectively in gas demand is 6% and 10% development goal. 2008 Germany enacted the law on promoting renewable heating, renewable heat development goals proposed, namely heating energy proportion of renewable energy by 2020 more than 14%. While law also provides a variety of subsidies and incentives.

Germany energy transition goal determination, but also by the EU laws and policies. In March 2007, the European Parliament will be in 2020, the EU share of renewable energy in the total final energy consumption than the target set at 20%, Germany’s target was set for 18%; biofuels accounted for all Member States of the EU transport petrol and diesel consumption minimum ratio set to 10%. In June 2007, Germany hosted the G8 Summit agreed in principle, global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 50%.

In September 2010, the Germany Federal Ministry of Economics and technology in the energy programme report, described Germany medium-and long-term energy development, defined by 2050 “energy transformation” development goals. After the 2011 Fukushima, Germany made permanent the decision to abandon nuclear power, officially proposed “energy transformation” as part of its energy policy-led approach.

In short, Germany set on energy in transition countries agree on long-term goal in 2010-2011. Its goals not only specific or consistent with the earlier proposed, and in some cases on the basis of goals in previous increased. Germany goals including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency of energy transformation (that is, reduction of energy consumption) and three aspects of renewable energy development. To promote renewable energy development is Germany an important part of energy transformation, but not the only one. Broadly speaking, Germany overall objective of energy transformation is by 2050, relative to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 80%-95%, 50% fewer than in 2008 total consumption of primary energy, electricity demand in 2008 compared with 25%, transportation sector energy consumption in 2005 compared with 40%, renewable electricity consumption of more than 80%, final energy consumption of more than 60%. Ultimate realization of fossil energy-energy system transition to a renewable energy system.

2020 energy transformation objective assessment of progress

Germany officially only in 2010-2011 “energy transformation” as a national strategy and energy policy the guideline, but in 2000 the law on renewable energies priority has been to build a promoted energy transformation of the legal framework and incentives greatly contributed to Germany with wind power and photovoltaic power generation, represented by renewable energy growth. We control Germany energy transitional phase targets for 2020 from renewable energy development, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in three aspects to discuss progress in energy transformation.

First of all, renewable energy targets 2/3. Since 2000, Germany entered the phase of rapid growth for renewable energy development. As two important indicators of transition for renewable energy development, renewable electricity consumption ratio and proportion of renewable energy to end-consumer, has now completed more than 2/3 of the 2020 target.

Is the target share of renewable electricity consumption nearly 80%. In the 1990 of the 20th century, the Germany renewable energy generation is increasing very fast. In 1990, including hydropower, wind power, solar power, biomass and other renewable power generation when the total was 1.9 billion-kilowatt, by 2014 when jumped to 16.1 billion-kilowatt, 24 increased 7.5 times, average annual growth of 9.3%. Accordingly, Germany rapidly renewable share in electricity consumption, increased from 3.4% in 1990 to 27.8% in 2014. In 2015-2020, Germany’s share of renewable energy in electricity consumption needs 3.9% annual rate increases, you will finish the 2020 target of 35%. Second, the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption targets near 67%. Compared with the renewable energy generation, renewable energy share of final energy consumption increased relatively steadily since 2004, did not show signs of accelerating growth. In 2004, the final energy consumption, including energy-using sectors such as electricity, transport and heating, renewable energy accounted for 5.7% in 2013, this proportion increased to 12%, 7 years more than 1 time. Compared with the 2020 18% target values, the current restructuring goals are 66.7%. If Germany before 2020 to achieve 18% of renewable energy in final energy consumption target is equivalent to the 2015-2020, the proportion of renewable energy sources in final consumption an average annual increase of 0.9 percentage points. Developments since 2004, by 2020, a target is no big problem. Third, heating and renewable energy growth in the transportation sector. In addition to electricity, heat and transport are two important sectors of final energy consumption. However, both sectors of renewable energy development contrasts sharply with the electricity sector. From the perspective of renewable energy accounts for changes in the heating sector, 1990-2000, increased from 2.1% to 4%, nearly double; double 2000-2009, increased from 4% to 8.5%. However, 2009-2014, the thermal sector percentage of renewable energy entered a period of slow growth, 5 share increased by only 1.4%, to 9.9%. Although this figure has completed the 2020 renewable energy targets in the heating sector 70%, but further growth should not be overlooked.

Germany is not only weak growth for renewable energy development in the transportation sector, but back problems. Prior to 2007, Germany rapidly growing renewable energy share of the transport sector: in 1990 only 0.1%, 2000 0.5% by 2007, jumped to 7.8%, 7 years over 14.5 times. However, since then due to the promotion of bio-fuels by Germany resistance from people, percentage of renewable energy in the transportation sector tends to fall increasingly away from the 10% of the EU 2020 target. By 2014, renewable energy has been reduced to 5.4% per cent, and has yet to see signs of recovery.

Second, the slow progress in energy consumption reduction objectives. In addition to renewable energy development by increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption is Germany an important part of the energy transition goals. Germany energy transition efficiency goals with 3 recently, by 2020, a 20% reduction in energy consumption compared with 2008, 10% compared to 2008 reduced power consumption, energy consumption of the transport sector in relation to 2005 and 10%. However, the situation in recent years, reduction targets to advance is very difficult.

One is the reduction of primary energy consumption trends show. According to energy transformation goals, Germany 2008 primary energy consumption energy consumption was 14380PJ as the base, to the absolute amount by 2020 to reduce 20%. In 2014, Germany has declined to 13076PJ,6 years of total consumption of primary energy consumption 9.1%. By this calculation, equivalent to 2008-2014 Germany primary energy consumption was finished in the year 2020 reduction target of 45.5%. Careful analysis since 1990 Germany primary energy consumption changes, you can see: 1990-2006 Germany primary energy consumption has fluctuated, but does not exceed the 1990 peak of 14905PJ. Since 2006, downward trend is obvious. 2006-2014 average annual decrease of total primary energy consumption 1.6%. Completed in 2020 target 20% reduce the total primary energy consumption, 2015-2020 has maintained an average annual decline rate 2.1%. Therefore, Germany clearly need further measures to strengthen efforts to reduce energy consumption.

Second, relatively fast reduction of electric power consumption. Compared with the reduction of primary energy consumption, Germany power consumption reduction target to advance relatively quickly. Based on 2008 annual electricity consumption as the base, by 2013, cutting power consumption by 3.3% (annual decrease) is equivalent to achieving the 2020 goal in transition (10%) 33%. On the whole, Germany the decline in electricity consumption since 2007, are part of a big upward trend in the decline phase. Thus, while electricity consumption reduction goal to advance faster than primary energy, but also more likely to repeat.

Third, reduction of energy consumption of the transport sector take time. Energy transformation in the transport sector goal was with 2005 as the base year energy consumption 2020 energy consumption 10%. However, in comparison with 2005, Germany not only failed to reduce energy consumption in the transportation sector, and increased 1%.

Intuitively, since 1990, the Germany energy consumption of the transport sector in 1999 as the threshold, the two trends change. 1990-1999 is a clear upward trend in 1999 transportation sector energy consumption from 1990 16.9% 1999-2013 down in 2013 than the 1999 energy consumption 6%. However, during this period of decline trend, rebound in 2009 there is a falling trend. 2009 Germany energy consumption of the transport sector to 2541PJ, the lowest consumption level since 1993. But energy consumption began to rise a few years, by 2013 to 2612PJ. A level comparable with 2006 levels and 5 years 2.8% compared with 2009.

However, Germany since 2009 not only of energy consumption in the transportation sector are small, the rising phase of the cycle, and will also be in traffic since 1990 trends in energy demand rise. 2013 energy consumption in the transportation sector from 1990 to 9.8%. Basically, only when the future in 2013 compared with 11% per cent of the level of energy consumption, Germany transportation sector energy consumption reduction phase began. Of course, by then, the transformation of the transport sector energy consumption in 2020 goal has been achieved.

Again, the greenhouse gas reduction targets to complete 60%. Since 1990, Germany’s characteristic trend decrease of the carbon dioxide emissions. In 1990, Germany amounted to 1.227 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases, by 2013, to 936 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions 23 23.8% reduce total greenhouse gas emissions. This emission reduction achievements, equivalent to completion of the 2020 Germany greenhouse gas reduction targets (40%) 60%. This performance has been enough to make Germany into the greenhouse-gas emissions “excellent students”. The same period, the EU average carbon dioxide emission level is 13.3%, and 11.9% increases carbon dioxide emissions in OECD countries and non-OECD countries increased carbon dioxide, 108%, 55% increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the world.

Although since 1990 yilai Germany greenhouse gas emissions volume declined trend obviously, emissions results also is considerable, but from emissions rate see, Germany 1990 yilai of greenhouse gas emissions obviously to 2000 years for territories divided for two a stage: 1990-2000 for fast declined stage, greenhouse gas annual emissions speed for 1.86%, and 2000-2013 for slow declined stage, greenhouse gas annual emissions speed only for 0.64%, emissions speed only has first stage of 1/3 strong. In keeping with this trend, 2020 emissions reduction target is very difficult.

By Germany energy transition 3 degree index evaluation found that Germany energy transformation results are not as bright as the individual indicators. In addition to the proportion of renewable energy in the energy, particularly in electricity production and a higher share of final energy consumption, 2020 more likely to achieve the development goals as scheduled, but other energy transformation goals were not optimistic, particularly in total primary energy consumption reduction targets and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Share of renewable fuels in the transport sector has stagnated in recent years, and further upgrade path and also poor. By 2020, Germany energy transformation goals, renewable electric power consumption 35%, Terminal energy consumption target of 18% is not difficult to do, but once the total energy consumption and carbon emission reduction targets is difficult for the time I’m afraid.

(The author is Director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of industrial economics, energy economics)

Original title: how to digest energy contradictions arising from the restructuring of Germany mirror

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