RESCUE scenario GreenLate

GreenLate stands for „Germany – resource efficient and GHG neutral – late transition”. This scenario if characterized by delayed action and innovation towards greenhouse gas (GHG) neutrality.

Scenario character

Germany remains an export-oriented and strong industrial power with a modern and efficient society. However, the transitions process sets in at a later point in time compared to GreenEe, thus highlighting the challenges of late actions with regards to reducing GHG-emission by 95% until 2050. Consequently, GHG emissions have to be reduced more radically and within a shorter period of time. This requires enormous structural changes and investments, especially towards the end of the first half of the century. As a result, improvements in energy- and materials-efficiency are lower than in the other scenarios. This trend is also visible at the international stage (with a ~10-year delay).

In 2050, energy supply is based completely on renewable sources. However, the energy demand is higher than in the other Green-scenarios as conventional technologies with lower efficiencies are still widely in use due to the late transition. Until 2050, efficient and power-based technologies for sector coupling can only be implemented for applications with short renewal cycles, or in areas for which high investment incentives exist. For example, the transition towards electric mobility for private transport is implemented late. This means that by 2050 a large number of conventional technologies are still in operation, e.g., in transport, space heating, and process heat supply. Similarly, measures targeting traffic reduction and relocation are implemented in the last years prior to 2050. The trend towards healthier diets only starts around 2025 and results in a higher share of livestock usage compared to the other scenarios.

Scenario results

The scenario succeeds in reducing GHG-emissions by 95.4 percent by 2050 compared to 1990. If natural sinks are taken into account through sustainable agriculture and forestry (LULUCF), this scenario can also come close to net zero emissions. On the way there, a GHG reduction of 55 percent are reached in 2030 and 70 percent in 2040 compared to 1990 (calculated without LULUCF). This scenario therefore corresponds to the current goals of the German government. 

The final energy demand (excluding the non-energy demand of the chemical industry) can only be reduced to around 1,800 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2050 due to the lower efficiency increases. In 2015, this amounted to around 2,500 TWh. The share of renewable energies will rise to 72 percent by 2030 and only marginally to 74 percent by 2040. In fuel supply, the share is 5 percent in 2030 and 13 percent in 2040, which is significantly lower than in the other scenarios. By 2050, fossil fuels will no longer be used in all areas.

The protection of natural resources is, next to increasing energy efficiency, already high on the agenda in the GreenLate scenario (with a delay compared to the other scenarios). This includes, e.g., the increased use of secondary raw materials and material substitution, as well as initial changes towards more sustainable lifestyles across all areas of application. The use of primary raw materials measured by the RMC (Raw Material Consumption) can be reduced by 56 percent by 2050 compared to 2010.