Germany's energy landscape in 2020 is expected to be dramatically different from its current mix, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan. Nuclear energy capacity will be halved, and renewable energy will account for 36% of electricity generated, the company predicts.
Overall electricity generation is forecast to decline from 625 TWh in 2010 to 590 TWh in 2020, due to energy efficiency measures and increased imports (which will be needed to fill part of the gap left by the nuclear plant closures). However, installed capacity is set to rise from 153 GW to 179 GW in 2020.
This is mainly because of the growth in wind and solar power, both of which have relatively low availability and need to be supported by back-up power such as gas turbines, Frost & Sullivan notes.
‘Germany is already a leading European renewables market, but it will go beyond its EU obligations with significant further investment in the next eight years,’ says Frost & Sullivan Energy Consultant Jonathan Robinson. ‘However, the growth in renewables poses serious challenges and will require substantial investment in upgrading the existing power transmission infrastructure.’
Solar PV capacity is forecast to increase three-fold, while wind will grow by an average of 2 GW per year. Energy efficiency will play an important role in the reduction in demand; the Energy Efficiency Act sets a target to reduce energy consumption by 9% in 2020, in comparison to consumption in 2001-2005, Frost & Sullivan adds.
However, from now until 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan, coal will remain the leading fuel (37% of generation), although Germany will experience a decline in lignite-fired output as older power stations are decommissioned. The country will also see an increase in the share of gas through an accelerated development program, with greater shares anticipated post-2020.
‘Germany has, of course, always been a key market for power generation equipment, but there is now the need for across-the-board investment in generation, transmission and distribution,’ notes Robinson. ‘This creates interesting opportunities for equipment manufacturers and project developers.’