Will Germany move into a situation with unsecured power supply?
Together with a huge number of other countries, Germany signed the Paris Agreements in 2015 to prevent global temperature increase above 2°C. Within this agreement, all countries defined their own national contributions to CO reduction. Since that, it was visible that CO emissions in Germany decreased, but not so fast than proposed in this German nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement. Due to increasing traffic, CO emissions from this mobility sector increased and CO emission from German power generation is nearly constant for the past 20 years, even a renewable generation capacity of 112 GW was built up in 2017, which is much higher than the peak load of 84 GW in Germany. That is why the German National Government has implemented a commission (often called “The German Coal Commission”) to propose a time line: how Germany can move out of coal-fired power stations. This “Coal Commission” started its work in the late spring of 2018 and handed over its final report with 336 pages to the government on January 26th, 2019. Within this report the following proposals were made: ① Until 2022: Due to a former decision of the German Government, the actual remaining nuclear power generation capacity of about 10 GW has to be switched off in 2022. Besides, the “Coal Commission” proposed to switch off additionally in total 12.5 GW of both, hard coal and lignite-fired power plants, so that Germany should reduce its conventional generation capacity by 22.5 GW in 2022. ② Until 2030: Another 13 GW of German hard coal or lignite-fired power plants should be switched off. ③ Until 2038: The final 17 GW of German hard coal or lignite-fired power plants should be switched off until 2038 latest. Unfortunately the “Coal Commission” has not investigated the relevant technical parameter to ensure a secured electric power supply, based on German’s own national resources. Because German Energy Revolution mainly is based on wind energy and photovoltaic, this paper will describe the negligible contribution of these sources to the secured generation capacity, which will be needed for a reliable power supply. In addition, it will discuss several technical options to integrate wind energy and photovoltaic into a secured power supply system with an overall reduced CO emission.
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