EW-R-1 + 2: Energy diversification (electricity, heating and cooling)

2019 Monitoring Report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

Table of Contents

 

EW-R-1: Diversification of electricity generation

While electricity generation is still increasing, guidelines set in recent years by energy policies, have produced a structure that is more firmly based on renewable energies thus aiding the distribution of risks at the same time as supporting the adaptation to climate change. In this way, the goals of climate protection and adaptation to climate change
can be combined, especially by the increased use of renewable energy carriers known for emitting less CO2.

The stack column diagram shows electricity generation (gross) in terrawatt hours in a time series from 1990 to 2017. The sum of electricity generation is significantly increasing.
EW-R-1: Diversification of electricity generation

The stack column diagram shows electricity generation (gross) in terrawatt hours in a time series from 1990 to 2017. The sum of electricity generation is significantly increasing. In 2017, it amounted to 654 terawatt hours. The presentation is differentiated for renewables (rising trend), hard coal (quadratic decreasing trend), lignite (no trend), petroleum products (falling trend), natural gas (rising trend), uranium (quadratic decreasing trend) and other energy sources (rising trend). Renewables are increasing particularly significantly. They reached 216 terawatt hours in 2017 and thus had the highest share in absolute terms.

Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (gross electricity generation)
 

EW-R-2: Diversification of end energy consumption for heating and refrigeration

For several years, more intensive, especially seasonal fluctuations have been observed in the end energy consumption for heating and refrigeration, with developments differing markedly between energy carriers. A positive development also in this case is the more wide-ranging distribution of risks owing to the rising trend for renewable energy carriers
which, at the same time, contributes to climate protection.

The stack column diagram shows the final energy consumption for heating and cooling in terawatt hours in a time series from 1995 to 2016. The sum of the final energy consumption for heating and cooling fluctuates, but there is a significant downward trend.
EW-R-2: Diversification of end energy consumption for heating and refrigeration

The stack column diagram shows the final energy consumption for heating and cooling in terrawatt hours in a time series from 1995 to 2016. The sum of the final energy consumption for heating and cooling fluctuates, but there is a significant downward trend. In 2016, consumption amounted to 1,441 terrawatt hours. The presentation is differentiated for renewable energies (rising trend), mineral oil (falling trend), gas (quadratic decreasing trend), district heating (no trend), coal (no trend), uranium (quadratic decreasing trend) and other (rising trend). Gas has the highest share, at 658 terrawatt hours in 2016. Renewables are increasing particularly significantly. In 2016, they reached 216 terrawatt hours.

Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (application balances; gross electricity generation); Arbeitsgrupe Erneuerbare Energien Statistik (time series on renewable energies)
 

Energy supply – spread among several sectors and increasingly renewable

Especially in view of the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and their consequences, there is hardly an energy carrier who is likely to remain unaffected by the impacts of climate change. The potential impacts of climate change vary depending on the energy carrier concerned and therefore require different adaptation measures. In order to minimise the risks pertaining to the reliability and quality of the energy supply system as a whole, a reduction in the total end energy consumption and risk-abating spatial distribution of energy infrastructures are required, thus serving as essential building blocks. Likewise, the energy supply structure which makes use of several energy carriers and types of power plants, plays a part in helping to distribute – thus reducing – the risks of future impacts from climate change among various sectors.

The framework for the future mix of energy carriers in Germany is set by energy and climate protection policies which lay down the requirements for achieving the ultimate replacement of all fossil-fuel and nuclear energy carriers by climate-compatible renewable energies. Even so, the question of how the future mix of various energy carriers might be structured in view of climate change remains to be clarified.

Guidelines issued over recent years by energy and climate policies have triggered high dynamics in the energy industry and caused a shake-up in the energy carrier mix. This is true in particular for electricity generation where the share of renewable energies has risen sharply. Declining tendencies in electricity generation were observed especially with regard to hard coal and nuclear energy whereas the share of gas, and in recent years increasingly also soft coal (known for high CO2 emissions) experienced gains.

As far as end energy consumption for heating (spatial heating, hot water, process heat) as well as refrigeration (air conditioning, process cooling) is concerned, the share of renewable energy also posted gains. However, in this case the transformation process is progressing more slowly and differently compared to electricity generation. For example, there were no clear trends discernible with regard to district heating and CO2-intensive soft coal, whereas the use of mineral oil and gas – the foremost energy carrier in this type of applications – posted a significant decline. In the final analysis, the overall energy supply, especially with regard to electricity generation, is nowadays distributed among more sectors than in the beginning of the 1990s.

In an assessment of developments towards a more environment- compatible, reliable and economical energy system which is low in greenhouse gas outputs at the same time as being climate-resilient, it is important to analyse in particular the climate-related risks faced by energy carriers and to account for these risks in development concepts for the energy landscape of the future. That notwithstanding, the increase in renewable energy carriers in both electricity generation and end energy consumption for heating and refrigeration purposes has led towards a more diversified energy carrier mix which contributes to climate protection by means of avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases, at the same time as helping to achieve a more wide-ranging distribution of risks as it supports the adaptation to climate change.

 

Interfaces

BAU-R-3: Specific energy consumption for space-heating by private households

 

Objectives

Increasing the safety of supply by complementary […] diversified generation structures which include renewable energies (DAS, ch. 3.2.9)

Safe [...] supply of electricity and gas to the public, based increasingly on renewable energies (EnWG, § 1 (1) 1)

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 adaptation to climate change  KomPass  monitoring report  energy supply  diversification  energy consumption