Energy study: 2011 more than 40% of electricity already from renewable sources

“The supply of energy in the future and especially the energy revolution introduced by the federal government over one year ago mean we here in Saxony-Anhalt are now facing new challenges. That’s why we want to update the state’s current energy concept for the years 2020 and 2030. Climate protection will naturally remain centre stage, as well as security of supply and affordability.

The expansion of renewable energies, increasing energy efficiency, saving energy and researching new technologies will continue to play a leading role,” so said Minister of Science and Economic Affairs Prof. Dr. Wolff on presentation of an energy study today that had been commissioned by her Ministry. The study that was completed by EuPD Research and the German Clean Tech Institute (DCTI) provides forecasts for the development of the energy sector in the state until the years 2020 and 2030 and therefore describes the anticipated framework conditions for energy policy in Saxony-Anhalt. It therefore provides the basis for the updating of the energy concept.

Wolff: “The study shows that Saxony-Anhalt has done its homework in the energy sector in previous years. Above all, this applies in view of the use of renewable forms of energy, which accounted for over 40 per cent of net electrical power generation in 2011.” At the same time, however, it will not be possible to achieve the ambitious goals of the energy revolution – by 2050, 80 per cent of energy supply should come from renewable energies – on the basis of the current technologies. “In the future we will need even more open ended research in this area along the lines of that which is currently underway in many areas in Saxony-Anhalt. In addition to this, with our local brown coal, we can also be assured of security of supply and affordability. This is an option we will keep open,” highlighted the Minister. She also referred to the necessary enhancement of power networks and the development of new power storage technologies. Only in this way would it be possible to use the increasing amount of electricity generated from renewable sources efficiently in the future.

On the basis of the energy study presented today, with the participation of the Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment, State Development, Transport, and Finance, the Ministry of Science and Economic Affairs will update the state’s energy concept for the years 2020 and 2030. It will be published by the end of the year.

The most important results of the energy study:

  • Forecasts:
    • Despite a fall in population (by approx. 459,000 in 2030 to 1.844 m.), primary energy consumption in the state will stay relatively constant until 2030 (through the increasing energy consumption of manufacturing and producing industry due to growing quantities of production).
    • Through the further expansion of renewable energies, especially the repowering of old wind turbines and the construction of new photovoltaic plants, it is estimated that by 2030 it will be possible to cover 96 per cent of the forecast electricity consumption in the state from renewable sources.
    • The production of electricity from brown coal will remain relatively constant in the state by 2030. (2030: approx. 25 per cent of net electrical power production).
  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and risks to the structures in the state’s energy sector:
    • Strengths - in the area of wind energy (high density of systems; with Enercon a global player is based in the state), in the area of solar energy (high installation rates with outdoor systems and good solar radiation values in the south east), through brown coal (low cost securing of basic load supply) and through the state's position as an exporter of electricity.
    • Weaknesses - declining population, tough competition between photovoltaics manufacturers, limited scope for constructing further wind turbines and wind farms (high state of development) limited potential for hydroelectric power and limited growth of biomass energy despite the high levels of potential.
    • Opportunities - primarily in the re-powering of wind turbines and wind farms, in extending the development of solar energy systems to the private customer segment, and in the potential offered by old (e.g. pump storage) and new storage technologies (e.g. battery storage).
    • Risks - mainly in under-supply with electricity during periods when wind levels are low (linked to a financing risk surrounding storage systems and backup power stations) in the unfavourable CO2 ratings of brown coal and in population decline which could act to prevent investment.