In summer 2011, the German government agreed on the transformation of the energy system. There is a political and social consensus about this transformation. All parties want it to be realised but many of them did not want to and could not perceive the big challenge associated with this transformation in concrete terms.
In reality, this project will take generations to complete. At stake is in Germany nothing less than nuclear phase-out by the year 2022, at the latest, while the development of renewable energies will be simultaneously accelerated.
Up until the year 2050, we want to reverse the ratio of approximately 20 percent of renewable energies to 80 percent of conventional electricity generation. Beyond that, we have committed to our goals of CO2 reduction, energy saving and much more besides. At the same time, climate protection should and must be brought in line with the long-term success of Germany as a location for industry with affordable electricity prices.
This is a unique experiment worldwide which is tantamount to an open heart surgery of an industrialised country. The German energy industry remains committed to this consensus which constitutes both a challenge and a big opportunity.
But the transformation of the energy system can only be successful if it is based on social acceptance. The measures to be carried out to this end must be comprehensible and transparent to the population. We must not deceive ourselves: The transformation into a sustainable energy supply system will change Germany’s appearance.
The term “energy transformation” is still frequently linked with idealistic views and ideas of a romantic nature. It is understandable that these views might be disillusioned through the construction of new electricity lines or wind farms. As a result, new target conflicts may arise e.g. between climate and nature protection.
- Although we are still at the beginning, it is already clear that we are entering a new energy era which will bring about at least as many changes to the people’s everyday life as the digital revolution. At the end of this development there could be an intelligent and sustainable energy world that may become a success model at an international level.
The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft – BDEW), Berlin – chaired by Hildegard Müller – represents the interests of approximately 1,800 companies ranging from local and municipal to regional and interregional corporations.
German Association of Energy and Water Industries