"What will the electricity supply look like in 2035, and what kind of grid will it require?" This is the central question of the 50Hertz Energy Transition Outlook 2035. The study identifies factors that create a need for grid expansion as well as choices and decisions that might be made by society and politics. The study was ordered by 50Hertz and carried out by a consortium consisting of E-Bridge Consulting GmbH, Prognos AG, the Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics of the RWTH Aachen University (IAEW) as well as FGH GmbH, and presented in Berlin on 1 July 2016.
Presentation of the press conference on 1 July 2016 in Berlin: Development paths of the energy transition and their consequences
The energy transition is in full swing, but its future evolution is uncertain.
Germany is currently in the middle of the energy transition. Over 30 per cent of national power consumption is already covered by renewable energy sources. Within the 50Hertz control area, this already attained a share of 49 per cent in 2015. However, the further evolution of the energy transition is uncertain.
For the energy transition, 50Hertz considers itself to be a provider of services to Society.
It is important to 50Hertz that the grid is only expanded when necessary for the energy transition. At the same time, 50Hertz is responsible for the security of the electrical system and therefore is obliged to create a grid that can also be operated securely if the energy transition follows a different path than that currently anticipated by the legislator. For this reason 50Hertz ventured a look into the future and had widely varying scenarios studied in the 50Hertz energy transition outlook for 2035 with regard to the evolution of the energy transition. Five widely varied development pathways were considered in collaboration with partners E-Bridge, Prognos, the RWTH Aachen University as well as the research foundation for electrical facilities and energy economy (FGH).
The possible development pathways of the energy transition that were studiedrepresent a broad spectrum.
In the 50Hertz energy transition outlook for 2035, five energy transition scenarios were developed, all of which are not unrealistic:
Final reportDevelopment paths of the energy transition and their consequences
Market modelling shows: while the total German surplus for export is considerably reduced the export of electricity from the 50Hertz control area continues to increase.
The German electricity surplus for export that can be observed at present will drop substantially. In some scenarios, Germany will even tend to be a net importer of electrical energy. The 50Hertz control area, on the other hand, clearly remains a net exporter of electricity in all energy transition scenarios. This is because market modelling shows that if the current objectives of the federal government are implemented, eastern Germany will have high capacities of renewable energy installations (RES installations) in 2035 because of the available space and the high solar and wind output.
The necessity of grid expansion measures was analysed extensively: the grid expansion measures planned by 50Hertz for the coming years are necessary and future-oriented.
For all five studied scenarios, extensive grid analyses and grid planning were carried out in accordance with the usual planning criteria. Furthermore, sensitivity calculations were used to study important ongoing social discussions, including a possible nationwide increase in small storage units, a regionally diversified installation of gas power plants as well as an early lignite exit. The results clearly indicate that by the year 2035, regardless of the further development of the energy transition, the grid expansion projects 50Hertz is currently realising or has planned for the coming years (measures under the BBPIG 3 and EnLAG 4) are necessary. Even in case of a lignite exit by 2035, the grid expansion measures planned by 50Hertz for the coming years are still necessary.
Grid development at 50Hertz is almost exclusively limited to existing routes, with a few exceptions for the planned HVDC transmission line.
In all scenarios, the majority of grid development measures either through grid reinforcement or new constructions can use the existing routes. However, for the new HVDC transmission line from Wolmirstedt to Isar and from Güstrow to Wolmirstedt, a new route is needed. The current length of the 50Hertz transmission system only increases slightly - from the current 10,000 kilometres to between 10,300 and 10,500 kilometres in 2035.