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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

Pathways for Germany’s Low-Carbon Energy Transformation Towards 2050

1
Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
2
Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW Berlin), Mohrenstraße 58, 10117 Berlin, Germany
3
Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management (IØT), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Høgskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
4
Hertie School of Governance, Friedrichstraße 180, 10117 Berlin, Germany
5
German Advisory Council on Environment (SRU), Luisenstraße 46, 10117 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Energies 2019, 12(15), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12152988
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 23 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 100% Renewable Energy Transition: Pathways and Implementation)
Like many other countries, Germany has defined goals to reduce its CO2-emissions following the Paris Agreement of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP). The first successes in decarbonizing the electricity sector were already achieved under the German Energiewende. However, further steps in this direction, also concerning the heat and transport sectors, have stalled. This paper describes three possible pathways for the transformation of the German energy system until 2050. The scenarios take into account current climate politics on a global, European, and German level and also include different demand projections, technological trends and resource prices. The model includes the sectors power, heat, and transportation and works on a Federal State level. For the analysis, the linear cost-optimizing Global Energy System Model (GENeSYS-MOD) is used to calculate the cost-efficient paths and technology mixes. We find that a reduction of CO2 of more than 80% in the less ambitious scenario can be welfare enhancing compared to a scenario without any climate mitigating policies. Even higher decarbonization rates of 95% are feasible and needed to comply with international climate targets, yet related to high effort in transforming the subsector of process heat. The different pathways depicted in this paper render chances and risks of transforming the German energy system under various external influences. View Full-Text
Keywords: decarbonization; energy system modeling; GENeSYS-MOD; renewables; energy policy; energy transformation; Energiewende decarbonization; energy system modeling; GENeSYS-MOD; renewables; energy policy; energy transformation; Energiewende
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Bartholdsen, H.-K.; Eidens, A.; Löffler, K.; Seehaus, F.; Wejda, F.; Burandt, T.; Oei, P.-Y.; Kemfert, C.; Hirschhausen, C.V. Pathways for Germany’s Low-Carbon Energy Transformation Towards 2050. Energies 2019, 12, 2988.

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