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Ampel-Monitor Energiewende #2: The state of affairs on August 24, 2022

In the blog of August 26, 2022

By Wolf-Peter Schill and Alexander Roth

This page provides a brief overview of the current status of all indicators included in the Ampel-Monitor Energiewende. More detailed methodological explanations and data sources can be found on the homepage of the Ampel-Monitor and in the introductory DIW Weekly Report 27/2022. All underlying data are also available in the Open Energy Tracker, where they are also regularly updated.

Compared to the Weekly Report 27/2022, some extensions are included in this version:

  • Logistic growth trajectories for the electric vehicle fleet and charging infrastructure, to complement the previous linear trajectories
  • Quarterly updated data on fossil primary energy consumption.
  • A comparison of net natural gas imports for the last three months compared to the same period last year
  • Sectoral greenhouse gas emissions
  • CO2 emissions from power generation

Thus, the number of indicators included in the Traffic Light Monitor has increased from the original 15 to the current 19.

State of play and pace of expansion for key indicators with a view to 2030

There is a large gap between the current status and the government's 2030 targets for virtually all key indicators. The gap is largest for green hydrogen and in the area of electromobility, followed by the expansion of offshore wind power and photovoltaics, as well as heat pumps.

For such indicators where monthly data are available, the pace of expansion in the trend of the last twelve available months can be compared with the pace needed to achieve the 2030 targets. The current rate of expansion of onshore wind power is only a quarter of what is needed, and offshore wind power has not expanded at all recently. Photovoltaics must triple its expansion rate. For battery-electric cars and charging points, the current pace is only about one-fifth and one-seventh, respectively, of what would be needed.

This is based on the assumption of a linear expansion path. If logistic growth were assumed instead, which seems plausible especially for electric cars, the picture looks better. For electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure, we have now for the first time provided such logistic growth paths, compare the corresponding illustrations for the two indicators further down on this page.

Renewable power generation: Photovoltaics

As of June 2022, the installed photovoltaic capacity was 62.3 GW. The target in 2030 is 215 GW. In the trend of the past twelve months, 0.50 GW/month were added; to achieve the target, there must be an average of 1.50 GW/month from now until 2030.

Renewable power generation: Onshore wind power

As of June 2022, onshore wind power had 57.0 GW of installed capacity. The target for 2030 is 115 GW. In the trend of the past twelve months, only 0.14 GW/month was added; to achieve the target, there must be an average of 0.57 GW/month from now until 2030.

Renewable power generation: Share of state area designated for wind power plants

In 2021, 0.8 percent of the state's land area was designated for the use of onshore wind energy. The goal of the traffic light coalition is a share of 1.4 percent by the end of 2026 and a share of 2.0 percent by the end of 2032.

Renewable power generation: Offshore wind power

As of June 2022, offshore wind power had an installed capacity of 7.8 GW. The target for 2030 is 30 GW. In the trend of the past twelve months, 0 GW/month was added; to achieve the target, it must be 0.22 GW/month on average from now until 2030.

Renewable electricity generation: Share of renewable energies in the electricity sector

The share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption (GEC) was 41.9 percent in 2021, and it is expected to increase to 80 percent by 2030. In the 2017-2021 trend, the share has increased by 2.0 percentage points/year; to reach the 2030 target, it must grow by an average of 4.2 percentage points/year.

More recent data are regularly available for the share of renewables in net electricity generation (NEG), so it can be used as a kind of leading indicator considered for the share in GEC. Currently, the share of renewables in net electricity generation is 50.8 percent, slightly above the 2020 level.

Renewable heat: stock of heat pumps

In 2021, around 1.4 million heat pumps were installed. The target in 2030 is around 5 million. In the trend of the years 2017-2021, a good 0.1 million/year were added; to achieve the target, there must be 0.4 million/year on average from now until 2030.

Renewable heat: share of final energy consumption for heat

The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption for heating and cooling was 16.5 percent in 2021, and is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2030 (the traffic light coalition refers to "climate neutral" heat, which is equated here with renewable heat). In the 2017-2021 trend, the share has increased by only 0.5 percentage points/year; to reach the 2030 target, it must grow by an average of nearly 3.7 percentage points/year.

Electromobility: Battery-electric passenger car fleet

As of July 2022, there were 0.79 million battery electric passenger cars. The target in 2030 is 15 million. In the trend of the past twelve months, only just under 0.03 million passenger cars/month were added. Assuming linear growth, 0.14 million passenger cars/month would have to be added on average from now until 2030 to achieve the target, i.e. five times as many. If, on the other hand, a logistic growth path is assumed, derived from study by Fraunhofer ISI, the current stock development is only slightly below the target path. However, here, too, the gap between the target path and the actual development widens month by month.

Electromobility: Share of battery-electric passenger cars in new monthly registrations

The figure shows the shares of purely battery-electric cars (for completenss, also plug-in hybrids) in new registrations per month. Although the traffic light coalition has not formulated a specific target for this, this indicator illustrates the dynamics of what is happening better than the stock indicator shown above. Most recently, the share of battery-electric passenger cars stagnated at around 14 percent (14.0 percent in July 2022). This stagnation is likely to be largely due to problems in the supply chains, which have led to very long delivery times for electric passenger cars in some cases.

Electromobility: Public charging points

As of June 2022, just under 64,000 publicly accessible charging points were in operation (including around 10,000 fast charging points and just under 54,000 normal charging points). Their number is expected to grow to 1 million by 2030. In the trend of the past twelve months, only just under 1,300 charging points/month were added; to achieve the target, there must now be an average of 9,200 charging points/month until 2030, assuming a linear growth path. If logistic growth is assumed as for the e-car fleet (see above), the expansion is currently roughly on or even just above the target path. However, strong logistic growth appears to be less plausible here than for the e-car fleet.

Electromobility: Battery-electric cars per public charging point

This indicator shows the ratio of battery-electric cars and publicly accessible charging points. The traffic light coalition has not formulated an explicit target for this. The fleet and charging infrastructure targets for 2030 result in a value of 15 battery-electric cars per charging point, although the breakdown between fast and normal charging points is unclear. Currently, just under 12 electric cars share a public charging point. Looking only at fast charging points, the ratio is currently about 76 electric cars per fast charger.

Electromobility: Electrified share of the rail network

In 2021, 61.7 percent of the federally owned rail network was electrified. The target in 2030 is 75 percent. In the 2017-2021 trend, just under 0.3 percentage points/year were added; to achieve the target, the average must be just under 1.5 percentage points/year by 2030.

Hydrogen: Installed electrolysis capacity

In October 2021, only 61 MW of electrolysis capacity was in operation. The target in 2030 is 10 GW (i.e. 10,000 MW). To achieve the target, an average of about 90 MW/month must be added by 2030.

Energy consumption: Fossil primary energy consumption, annual data

The coalition agreement mentions the goal of climate neutrality by 2045 in several places; in addition, the energy infrastructure is to be allowed to run only on non-fossil fuels beyond 2045. It can be deduced from this that the traffic light coalition is aiming for a complete end to the use of fossil primary energy sources by 2045. A precise time path is not specified for this. However, the consumption of mineral oil, lignite and hard coal has shown a clear downward trend in recent years. In contrast, consumption of natural gas has hardly decreased, with significant annual fluctuations. In 2021, fossil primary energy consumption still totaled just under 2600 TWh. Assuming a linear reduction path, it would have to fall by just under 40 percent to a good 1600 TWh by 2030.

Energy consumption: Fossil primary energy consumption, quarterly data (NEW)

A look at quarterly updated data on primary energy consumption shows that in the first half of 2022, fossil primary energy consumption was almost as high as in the first half of 2021 at just under 1,300 TWh, i.e. it has hardly decreased further. However, consumption of natural gas fell by 15 percent. This is likely to be due not only to a milder winter and thus lower heating energy demand in 2022, but also to a reduction in demand as a result of the significant rise in prices caused by Russia's attack on Ukraine. By contrast, consumption of other fossil primary energy sources increased, by nine and eleven percent for hard coal and lignite respectively.

Security of supply: Monthly net natural gas imports to Germany

In the subsection on gas and hydrogen, the coalition agreement includes the statement: "We want to diversify the energy supply for Germany and Europe." No quantitative target is mentioned. However, at the latest after Russia's attack on Ukraine in February 2022, it is clear that dependence on Russian natural gas imports in particular is to be reduced quickly. However, this dependence has grown significantly in recent years. Direct (via Nord Stream 1) and indirect (via Poland) gas imports from Russia have mostly been on par with total net natural gas imports since 2018. It should be noted that Germany is also a gas transit country. In particular, gas has flowed regularly to the Czech Republic since 2014. Since the end of 2021, however, Russian net imports have decreased significantly. In June 2022, they were as low as they had last been in March 2015. At the same time, net imports have increased overall.

Security of supply: net natural gas imports, last three months compared with same period last year (NEW)

In the last three months in which data are available (April to June 2022), net imports of natural gas were significantly higher than the corresponding three months of the previous year. Imports from Norway in particular have increased significantly, and net exports have also become net imports in trade with "Other" countries (Belgium is particularly relevant here). Meanwhile, net imports from Russia decreased, as no more natural gas arrived via Poland.

Greenhouse gas emissions: Sectoral emissions (NEW)

The traffic light coalition has repeatedly committed to the goal of climate neutrality in 2045, but has not set any new targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases in the short and medium term. The sectoral emission reduction targets up to 2030 are already specified by the Federal Climate Protection Act, which was last amended on August 18, 2021. Thereafter, the Act sets annual greenhouse gas emissions targets without sectoral resolution until 2040, at which point net greenhouse gas neutrality is to be achieved by 2045. The figure shows sectoral emissions since 1990 and medium- and longer-term targets. In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions were more than 40 percent below those of the 1990 reference year, meeting a longer-term climate policy target. However, the significant pandemic-related reduction in economic activity in 2020 contributed significantly to this. The strong emissions reductions in 2020 also shape the trend for 2017-2021 shown in the figure, with emissions rising again in 2021 as the economy recovered.

Greenhouse gas emissions: CO2 emissions from power generation (NEW)

The traffic light coalition has no explicit target for CO2 emissions from electricity generation. The draft of the EEG 2023 spoke of "almost complete greenhouse gas neutrality" of electricity generation by 2035; however, this wording is not included in the final Bundestag resolution. Prior to this, however, it had already been decided at the G7 summit in Elmau to "fully or predominantly decarbonize" the power sector by 2035. The figure therefore shows an indicative target value of zero CO2 emissions in 2035. Absolute CO2 emissions in 2020 were only about 52 percent of 1990 emissions, and CO2 emission intensity (in g/kWh) dropped to about 49 percent (excluding upstream chain emissions). However, 2020 levels were particularly low due to the pandemic, and emissions increased again in 2021 (to about 60 percent of 1990 emissions, or 55 percent of emissions intensity).

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