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Development of the German final and primary energy consumption in the Basis Scenario 2010 A
© BMU
Federal Ministry of the Environment publishes draft of 2010 Lead Study
28.02.2011

Scenarios for the expansion of renewable energies

The eagerly anticipated draft version of the "Lead Study 2010" can now be downloaded. The study, entitled "Long-term scenarios and strategies for developing renewable energies in Germany taking into account developments in Europe and worldwide", is available on the website of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. For the first time the study carries out a complete dynamic simulation of the electricity supply and describes the technical and economic impacts of developing renewable energies.

The work from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) and the Ingenieurbüro für neue Energien (IfNE) outlines, among others, scenarios for developing electromobility, expanding co-generation and limiting biomass utilisation to the ecologically compatible potential available in Germany. In addition, the study also explores the possibilities provided by chemical energy storage systems in the form of renewable hydrogen or methane. Such storage systems are required for securing supplies with a high proportion of fluctuating wind and solar energy. A scenario with an electricity supply completely based on renewable energies in 2050 is also examined.

In comparison with the usage costs for fossil fuels, the previous expansion of renewable energies up to and including 2010 has led to 71 billion euros in additional costs as a result of the investments made, whereby the positive economic effects of developing renewable energies will not become completely evident until 2025. Nevertheless, the study calculates that the discontinuation of fossil-based energy supplies will enable the economy to save 670 billion euros by the middle of the century.

Lead Study available as draft version

The draft version of the new Lead Study, which was published just a few days ago, only reflects the latest main energy policy decisions of the German federal government to a certain extent. The German Federal Ministry of the Environment also admits that the study does not yet sufficiently take into account the goals contained in the energy concept for reducing energy consumption in the coming decades. Instead the draft is evidently based on increasing electricity consumption with a series of consequences for the energy mix. Nevertheless, it is also intended to take into account the energy concept from autumn 2010 as part of the further work being conducted on the project in 2011.

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