RESCUE scenarios GreenEe1 and GreenEe2

The two GreenEe scenarios stand for “Germany – resource efficient and greenhouse gas neutral – Energy efficiency” and focus on the implementation of energy efficiency measures across all sectors.

Scenario character

In the scenario, it is assumed that a common understanding of the importance of climate protection/decarbonization, energy savings, and resource conservation exists among German citizens and this attitude increases over time, and is reflected in the political framework conditions. Other countries in the world follow Germany´s developments but at a slower pace which means that the global development of renewable energy markets is possible and. While in the GreenEe1 scenario, the domestic production capacities and therefore exports are continuously increasing, in GreenEe2 a more balanced trade situation is assumed, i.e., imports and exports converge and domestic production capacities decrease. Nevertheless, higher quality products and innovation continue in moderate economic growth in both scenarios at an average of 0.7 %.

Energy supply in 2050 is completely based on renewables and, where technically feasible, sector coupling enables the use of electricity across all fields of application. Energy efficiency improvements reduce the overall demand for energy in all sectors (e.g., transport, industry, and building and housing). If possible, renewable electricity is directly used. By 2050, for example, the industry has switched mostly to electricity-based process heat. In particular, the rapid decarbonization of the electricity sector proceeds quickly so that the integration of sector coupling technologies and a restructuring of the various sectors can take place simultaneously. Digitalization supports the optimization of energy supply and demand systems in order to reduce backup capacities. Similar to today´s situation, energy imports to Germany consists mostly of fuels. By 2050, all fuel imports are fully based on renewables (i.e., PtG/L facilities built-up abroad). Only applications for which no direct electricity use is possible (e.g., fuels for aviation, heavy-duty vehicles, and certain industrial applications) use fuels produced via  (PtG / PtL) routes.

In industry, the restructuring towards energy-efficient process technologies based on renewables is complemented by a reduction in process-based emissions to the currently known technically possible level. 

The transition of the transport sector comprises an increasing share of electric vehicles for personal mobility and public transportation until 2050. Transport avoidance is facilitated by intelligent logistics in freight transport and the ‘city of short distances’ in personal transport. 

The societal transformation towards decarbonization also requires changes to the agriculture sector. In addition to technical measures, healthier eating habits of the population lead to reduced livestock in Germany. The development towards mixed forests is continued over time thus preserving the forest as a net carbon sink. Biodiversity protection is increasingly integrated into forest management, supported by the expansion of protected land areas for natural forest developments. 

Increasing use of secondary raw materials and material substitution in particular in the metals industry, chemical industry, and building sector fosters materials efficiency.

Following the demographic trends, per capita living space requirement rise until 2030 and total living space is subsequently reduced to the 2010 level. Land-take for transport and settlements is reduced to 20 ha/day by 2030 and moves towards net zero in the subsequent decades until 2050.

Scenario results

The GreenEe scenarios succeed in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG)-emissions by 96.2 (GreenEe1) and 96.7 (GreenEe2) percent by 2050 compared to 1990. If natural sinks are taken into account through sustainable agriculture and forestry (LULUCF), net zero emissions can be reached. The scenarios, thus, show how GHG-neutrality can be achieved without nuclear energy and technical sinks such as ⁠CCS⁠. In 2030, a GHG reduction of 60.3 percent in GreenEe1 and 61.5 percent in GreenEe2, and in 2040 of 80 percent in GreenEe1 and 81.2 percent in GreenEe2 compared to 1990 is reached (calculated without LULUCF).

The final energy demand (excluding the non-energy demand of the chemical industry) can be reduced to around 1,250 terawatt hours (TWh) in GreenEe2 and to around 1,300 TWh in GreenEe1 by 2050. The share of renewable energies rises to around 75 percent by 2030 and to around 92 percent by 2040. By 2030, around 22 TWh of electricity-based fuels (based on renewable power) are imported, half of which are used in aviation and half in the chemical industry to produce durable products. In 2030, the share of renewable energies in the fuel supply is thus around 8 percent and rises to 17 percent in GreenEe1 and 27 percent in GreenEe2 by 2040. By 2050, fossil fuels will no longer be used in all areas.

Important factors for reducing primary raw material consumption include, among others, the complete conversion of the energy supply to renewable energies and the phase-out of fossil fuels. Other important factors include structural policies such as the reduced designation of settlement areas, energy savings, the increased use of secondary raw materials, the optimization of manufacturing processes through material substitutions, and increases in material efficiency as well as lifestyle changes. In all scenarios, an increase of the material efficiency and development of the technological stands in and outside Europe. The use of primary raw materials (measured by the RMC (raw material consumption)) can be reduced by 61 percent by 2050 compared to 2010.