The whole world is facing a major energy transition. Despite the fact that development is going faster than ever, the requirements are at the same time higher than ever and the need for renewable energy sources seems bottomless.
A problem that, to say the least, affects all countries and opens up major issues regarding cross-border cooperation. One country that has succeeded in achieving impressive results in its energy journey is Germany, which by 2020 has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
– In the early stages of the energy transition, I experienced that many countries focused only on themselves. It is important to look up and understand that this is a European problem, we are in this together. I would also say that European policy is successful for effective climate change, says Andreas Kuhlmann, CEO of “dena” (German Energy Agency).
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% has been the EU’s target for 2030. In September this year, however, a proposal was submitted to raise that target to a 55% reduction by 2030. A proposal that is expected to be adopted in 2021. Additional climate targets for 2030 is that 32% of the energy market will consist of renewable energy sources and an improvement in energy efficiency by 32.5%.
– It is a great challenge to produce renewable energy sources faster. But finding integrated business models is also a challenge. This is something we are working on a lot in Germany now. We focus on efficiency. Efficiency is a key issue and its role is underestimated. There is no reason to waste energy, Andreas Kuhlmann continues.
Germany is one of Europe’s largest power markets. Something that often means a pressure to lead by example. When it comes to energy issues, the focus is on major players and there is great curiosity about Germany’s strategies.
– Our strategy is based on the incentive to leave coal and nuclear power behind us as quickly as possible and build renewable energy sources as quickly as we can. We have also realized that we need molecules. Only electrons will not suffice. That is why we are investing in hydrogen molecules, that is our focus right now, says Andreas Kuhlmann.
In times like now when a major change in society is taking place and many countries, companies and individuals are changing their behaviors and business models, different trends tend to manifest themselves. The energy market is no exception and for Andreas Kuhlmann and his, some of them have been obvious to act on.
– The biggest trends in the energy market that we have focused on are innovation, a ramp-up of the hydrogen market and finding the best systems for extracting renewable energy. As for the time frame, it is about doing this as quickly as possible. It is important to be optimistic but not naive. Many parts of the change are complex, the existing structure and our behaviors are difficult to change, Andreas Kuhlmann explains.
As mentioned, there is a major challenge in finding renewable energy sources and integrating them into our energy system. But there is also a big challenge in adapting the market.
– At first, there was so much focus on acquiring renewable energy sources and we stared blindly at that problem. We have now gone from 5% to 46% renewable energy. Sometimes you just see the small problems and underestimate the big challenge that is now about how to deal with the new energy sources. We need to rethink the market, create more flexibility, change prices and taxes, says Andreas Kuhlmann.
There are also some advantages to an energy system that has an ever-increasing share of renewable energy production.
– A huge number of decentralized alternatives and new storage systems, energy societies and market designers have emerged. We must use this and adapt to it. I think we will just see more and more exciting examples. The 20s will change the world, Andreas Kuhlmann concludes.
Dena will participate in the conference on May 4, 2021 Power Circle Summit, which is arranged digitally by the Swedish Exhibition Center, Power Circle, the Swedish Energy Agency and Innoenergy. It is an opportunity where decision makers, innovators, entrepreneurs and strategists meet to share knowledge and insights with each other. Through discussions, workshops and seminars, a circle of knowledge is formed that enables the energy transition of the future.
The Swedish Exhibition Center Gothia Towers is one of Europe’s largest integrated meeting places with a unique city location in central Gothenburg. Swedish Exhibition Gothia Towers arranges and runs fairs, meetings, hotels, restaurants, spas and a show arena. Every year, just over two million visitors are welcomed to the meeting place. Svenska Mässan Gothia Towers is owned by a private, independent foundation, Svenska Mässan Stiftelse. The foundation’s mission is to promote business and industry, and every year just over SEK 3.2 billion is generated in tourist economic effects.
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