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Gabriel: in 2020 renewable energies can contribute 25% to electricity supply

2006-01-20

New study proves expansion potential can be achieved at acceptable price

In 2020 electricity from renewable energies will already be able to provide a quarter of Germany's electricity supply and save 110 million tonnes of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) – twice the current saving. The costs will remain acceptable. This has been demonstrated in the study conducted by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg which was presented to the public today by Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel. "Renewable energies are growing strongly as a component of Germany's electricity supply," said Gabriel. "They will continue to expand their position, and will have positive impacts on Germany's energy supply independence, on environmental and climate protection and also as an engine of innovation for German industry."

Under the framework conditions of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) renewable energies will become a vital pillar in the German electricity market, thus absorbing the shortfall arising from the declining share of nuclear energy. At the same time, over the next 15 years the volume of investment linked to the expansion of electricity generation from biomass, geothermal energy, photovoltaics, hydropower and wind will total around €75 billion. This will provide a powerful impetus for the German economy in terms of industry and employment.

Gabriel: "The vigorous expansion of electricity generation from renewables will be achieved at a reasonable cost. For example, the study shows that the monthly EEG costs for an average household will rise from today's rate of €1,50 to just €2,80 by the middle of the next decade, and will fall permanently from 2016. In view of the major challenge of combating climate change and securing an environmentally sound energy supply, this is certainly an acceptable amount. There will by no means be a spiralling rise in costs, as is often wrongly suggested."

The costs for renewable energies will sink because conventional generation will become constantly more expensive, whereas the fees under the EEG are degressive and therefore fall from year to year. Individual branches of the renewable energy industry – especially part of the wind energy sector – will probably already be economically viable by the end of the next decade, even considered from a strictly business perspective.

Gabriel categorically rejected the idea of continuing the utilisation of nuclear energy. "Jumping from one raw material to another, switching from oil imports to gas and then uranium does not create any supply security" said the minister, adding that this was more likely to be achieved by expanding renewable energies, improving energy efficiency and through energy-saving.

More information: Study: Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) - Development of electricity generation from renewable energies up to 2020 and financial impacts

Quelle: BMU Press Release No. 010/06