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Assessment of transformation strategies for the German power sector under the uncertainty of demand development and technology availability

Sylvie Ludig, Eva Schmid (), Markus Haller and Nico Bauer

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2015, vol. 46, issue C, 143-156

Abstract: The long-term energy strategy issued by the German government in 2010 and 2011 embraces a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions and high shares of renewable energy in electricity production, along with energy efficiency improvements and an accelerated nuclear phase-out. While several studies illustrate scenarios reaching these targets, there are substantial uncertainties pertaining to key assumptions, particularly long-term electricity demand and the large-scale availability of offshore wind and carbon capture and storage (CCS). This paper explores conditions under which model-based scenarios for the German electricity sector comply with the official targets for CO2 emission reductions and renewable shares. We apply the energy system model LIMES-D, which allows for a joint optimization of generation and transmission capacities. The results indicate that reducing electricity demand plays a crucial role for attaining the government׳s targets. Scenarios for which either offshore wind or CCS is not available show an even stronger need for a decreasing electricity demand to reach the targets and a different pattern of transmission capacity expansion than is the case with full technology availability. Hence, a broad technology portfolio could in turn hedge against future power demand increases that may challenge the joint attainment of the German decarbonization and renewable energy targets.

Keywords: Decarbonization; CCS; Renewable energy; Demand uncertainty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.02.044

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