A new report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) predicts that Germany’s power generation capacity may reach more than 250GW in 2030, compared with 158GW in 2010, driven primarily by a rise in wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy.
The report notes that global electricity markets are in the early stages of transformation and Germany’s bold restructuring of its power system could serve as a paradigm.
Countries across the world have begun to shift from conventional centralised, fossil fuel-based power generation in favour of renewable-energy sources and distributed generation.
The report states that Germany is leading the transformation, as its energy future focuses on renewable-energy sources, distributed generation, and increased energy efficiency.
The country’s dependence on foreign fuel will drop sharply as gas consumption for supplying power is expected to decline to 50 terawatt-hours in 2030, compared with 200 terawatt-hours in 2010.
Germany’s carbon footprint will also improve significantly as it pursues its emissions goals of a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.
According to the report, about half of Germany’s power will likely come from distributed sources, such as rooftop solar panels and wind farms, by 2030.
But the investment required to ensure the development and the necessary upgrades in supporting infrastructure will exceed €370bn from 2010 to 2030, the report says.
BCG said that the German power industry’s incumbents, especially the Big Four utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – will face challenges in the near future, including the government’s mandated phase-out of nuclear energy, the falling number of full-load hours of operation for conventional power plants, and the emergence of new competitors with new business models.
Image: Nuclear power plant at Grafenrheinfeld in Germany. Photo courtesy of Christian VisualBeo Horvat.