German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) publishes abridged version of the study “Integrated Energy Concept 2050”

Renewable energy must be used in all sectors. This is the only way to achieve the greenhouse gas reduction targets. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur – BMVI) and coordinated by NOW GmbH. Within the framework of the study, a research consortium led by the law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH) developed guidelines for the design of such an integrated future energy system. The consortium also consisted of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST), and the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM).

Initially, scenarios for possible transformation paths of the German energy system were developed and total cost of ownership analyses for transport operators were carried out on the basis of such scenarios. This input was then used to develop proposals for political, legal and regulatory action. A particular focus was on the transport sector.

The analysis is based on scenarios that were calculated with the REMod energy system model developed by Fraunhofer ISE illustrating possible transformation paths of the German energy system up to 2050. The project examined the effects of the carbon dioxide reduction target, the time of the coal phase-out, the share of battery-powered vehicles and other determinants in a total of 14 scenarios. The first thing that becomes apparent is that, despite considerable energy efficiency efforts, the electricity demand will continue to rise in the time period until 2050.

In addition to the expansion of the electricity grids, flexibility instruments such as electricity storage facilities and heat pumps are therefore becoming increasingly important to ensure security of supply. However, the analyses show that a direct supply of the transport, heat and industrial sectors with electricity alone is not reasonable with a view to the costs involved. The system cannot indefinitely cover power peaks that may occur at times of low feed-in from renewable energy sources in combination with high demand for electricity-based heat and mobility. Therefore, hydrogen or methane which are imported or produced from green excess electricity can and must contribute to decoupling production and demand in terms of time. For the examination of the transport sector, the model was supplemented by a total cost of ownership analysis from the operators’ point of view for passenger cars and trucks as well as for other modes of transport (railway, ship, aviation).

The regulatory analysis first examined the current legal framework for sector coupling. The scenarios developed were also used to identify developments that ran through all scenarios (“robust” developments). For these robust developments, specific regulatory measures were proposed: How can the technological and economic developments that were identified as part of a cost-effective transformation actually be brought about and controlled? In this context, a number of regulations were proposed, including carbon pricing as well as a bonus-malus system for electric and fuel cell vehicles. In addition, a Renewable Fuels Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Kraftstoffgesetz) could be passed to control that sufficient renewable fuels are available in the course of the transformation when they are required by the energy system.

The abridged version of the study (in German with an abstract in English) has now been published and can be downloaded from the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.


Prof. Dr. Ines Zenke
Lawyer, Partner
Tel +49 (0)30 611 28 40-179

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