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Pathways for Germany’s Low-Carbon Energy Transformation Towards 2050

Hans-Karl Bartholdsen (), Anna Eidens (), Konstantin Löffler (), Frederik Seehaus (), Felix Wejda (), Thorsten Burandt (), Pao-Yu Oei (), Claudia Kemfert () and Christian von Hirschhausen
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Hans-Karl Bartholdsen: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Anna Eidens: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Konstantin Löffler: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Frederik Seehaus: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Felix Wejda: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Thorsten Burandt: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Pao-Yu Oei: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Claudia Kemfert: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin), Mohrenstraße 58, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Christian von Hirschhausen: Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Energies, 2019, vol. 12, issue 15, 1-33

Abstract: Like many other countries, Germany has defined goals to reduce its CO 2 -emissions following the Paris Agreement of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP). The first successes in decarbonizing the electricity sector were already achieved under the German Energiewende. However, further steps in this direction, also concerning the heat and transport sectors, have stalled. This paper describes three possible pathways for the transformation of the German energy system until 2050. The scenarios take into account current climate politics on a global, European, and German level and also include different demand projections, technological trends and resource prices. The model includes the sectors power, heat, and transportation and works on a Federal State level. For the analysis, the linear cost-optimizing Global Energy System Model (GENeSYS-MOD) is used to calculate the cost-efficient paths and technology mixes. We find that a reduction of CO 2 of more than 80% in the less ambitious scenario can be welfare enhancing compared to a scenario without any climate mitigating policies. Even higher decarbonization rates of 95% are feasible and needed to comply with international climate targets, yet related to high effort in transforming the subsector of process heat. The different pathways depicted in this paper render chances and risks of transforming the German energy system under various external influences.

Keywords: decarbonization; energy system modeling; GENeSYS-MOD; renewables; energy policy; energy transformation; Energiewende (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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