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Expert opinions on energy policy

Energy strategy Brandenburg 2040

Client

Ministry of Economy, Labour, and Energy of the State of Brandenburg

Year

2021


In September 2020, Prognos was commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Labour, and Energy of the State of Brandenburg to draw up an expert report that would assist in the updating of the current energy strategy. Prognos first evaluated the progress made by the Energy Strategy 2030 to date. Since the last update there have been many changes to the framework conditions, such that under the new lead scenario for the period up to the year 2040, Brandenburg’s energy supply will undergo profound change.

Forecast energy consumption and future energy supply

End energy consumption in the State of Brandenburg will not change structurally, but the share of renewable energies will increase significantly, with installed renewable energies capacity for power generation doubling to approximately 22,300 MW by 2040. Nevertheless, the Energy Strategy 2030’s wind energy targets (10,500 MW by 2030) are not expected to be met. With the wind energy expansion recommended in the lead scenario, it will occupy two per cent of the state’s surface area but not until the year 2038. One reason for the slower growth is the increasing numbers of old plants that need to be dismantled, the legal uncertainty regarding regional planning, as well as the EEG 2021 installation figures. On the other hand, photovoltaics, mainly ground-mounted installations, are increasingly gaining in significance.

The agreed coal phase-out will be completed by 2038 at the latest. Approximately 1,400 MW of reserve power plants will be required, which will mostly be used to secure supply performance in times of low wind and sun. Prognos works on the assumption that this will include one or more gas-fired power plants. These could, in the future, also potentially be operated with hydrogen.

The savings targets of the Energy Strategy 2030 will not be met but end energy consumption could fall by 23 percent by 2040. However, successful industrial settlements or the TESLA expansion stages are likely to reduce end energy consumption to a lesser extent than was originally expected. This merits an adjustment of the end energy target.
Primary energy consumption will decrease by 40 percent (40.5 percent) by 2030 relative to 2018 (2007). The savings target of the Energy Strategy 2030 will certainly be achieved, and the share of renewable energy sources in primary energy consumption according to the Energy Strategy is also expected to significantly exceed targets with 38 percent (Energy Strategy 2030: 32 percent)

Changes in energy demand and employment

The energy requirement for the production of hydrogen, which is an important part of the conversion sector, was determined in the lead scenario for the year 2040 at around 6.7 TWh. This enables approximately 5 THWHo hydrogen to be produced.

In this scenario, Brandenburg remains a power export state, but exports significantly less. If the demand for electricity increases as expected – mainly due to the production of hydrogen, but also due to new applications and industrial settlement successes – as a consequence, less power can be exported to other federal states. Electricity exports could fall from 38 TWh (2018) to 16 TWh (2040).

Employment in the lignite sector is falling sharply as a result of the coal phase-out. However, the decline of around 7,100 employees can be partially offset by the expansion of renewable energy sources (+4.500 employees).

Key objective of climate neutrality

Due to its design, the previous lead scenario is not expected to achieve the target of a climate-neutral energy supply by 2050. Too much action would be required in the decade between 2040 and 2050, which lies outside the core period of this study. In order to achieve climate neutrality, it is not simply enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero. All other known influences on the climate should also be taken into account. Thus, greenhouse gas emissions wills have to be offset by negative emissions (natural and technical CO2 sinks).

Summary: Reorienting the goals

The question arises as to whether the forthcoming revision of the energy strategy should be used to reorient the objectives. The structural changes over the next two decades require an active shaping of the framework conditions. From Prognos AG’s point of view, the strategic target areas of energy efficiency, hydrogen, energy exports, and climate protection could be an option.

 “Energy Strategy Brandenburg 2040” study (PDF, in German)

Project team: Hanno Falkenberg, Jens Hobohm, Sebastian Lübbers, Fabian Malik, Stefan Mellahn, Ravi Srikandam

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