Germany can, and must, meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement by achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, a new study claims.
Switching to 100% renewable energy for all energy sectors is not urgently needed to limit global warming to 1.5◦C above pre-industrial levels, but is also economically viable, authors of the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Energies.
“Only technologies that harvest renewable energies are scalable in time and space due to divisibility,” the authors wrote. “Carbon capture technologies, as well as power from nuclear plants, are also frequently brought to the forefront as relevant technical mitigation options. However, they are becoming increasingly irrelevant when confronted with the time scales left for the remaining switch to a climate-friendly system.”
The authors assumed that Germany will need renewable energy sources to cover 1102 TWh heat demand and 967 TWh electricity demand. Under the proposed scenario, the newly installed electricity generation capacity is 1143 GW — 80% of which is made up of solar PV and wind power plants. Capacity is secured by 208 GW of bioenergy, geothermal, hydrogen, battery, and pumped storage.
The scenario depends heavily on green hydrogen to reach an energy storage target of 20 TWh.
“The annual costs for the minimum cost target system with 100% RE in Germany are EUR 155 billion and compare favourably with the costs of the current system,” the authors wrote.