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GROWING DEMAND FOR ENERGY         tional grids. Countries like Germany,   increase grid capacity with “new tech-
                                              whose power consumption has tradi-  nologies and greater digitization” and
            The important goals outlined in the    tionally been based on coal and nuclear   storage capacity via sector coupling, as
            Paris Agreement cannot be reached if    power, that are aiming to switch nearly   is suggested in the current governing
            we limit our focus to the transportation   entirely to sources of sustainable energy,   coalition’s platform [6, 7].
            sector. Experts around the world, includ-  find themselves confronted by the need   The three high-voltage power lines
            ing those at the International Energy   to secure stable power production. If   that have been planned to distribute
            Agency (IEA), agree that energy produc-  Germany is to succeed in sustainably   wind power from the north of Germany
            tion and heating account for the lion’s   reducing its carbon emissions from the   via three north-south corridors will also
            share of global greenhouse gas emis-  current level of 474 g/kWh in 2018 [4] by   not suffice. Experts say that it would
            sions. In fact, global energy consumption   switching to solar and wind power, then   take a grid-wide expansion of 30 to 35
            increased in 2018 at a rate almost twice   it will also need to overhaul its grid and   lines of a similar size [8] to secure distri-
            that of the average rate of increase since   create high-capacity storage systems to   bution in a manner that would meet the
            2010. This development was accompanied   store the electricity generated by the vol-  relevant international grid requirements.
            by a 1.7 % increase in carbon emissions.   atile sources. And the same will have to   An energy sector transformation of the
            [1] According to the IEA, global electri-  be done throughout Europe. The problem    sort currently targeted would require
            city generation from renewable sources   is that the existing storage systems have   a simultaneous expansion of all Euro-
            (including hydropower) grew in 2018 by   been developed in the context of pilot   pean grids, as well as their digitization,
            more than 7 % (or 450 TWh) to account   projects, and are by no means capable    to secure a reliable supply of power.
            for around 25 % (> 6000 TWh) of total   of securing supply. Storage facilities with   Although new power storage facilities
            electricity generation (26,700 TWh). An   sufficient capacity are currently neither   feature prominently in the governing
            increase in nuclear power added another   under construction nor even in the plan-  coalition’s platform and other govern-
            90 TWh to total low-emissions power pro-  ning in Europe. And yet they, as well as   ment publications [7], there are as yet
            duction. However, given the spike in de-  a vehicle charging infrastructure, would   no signs of implementation. This has
            mand, an additional 1000 TWh or more   be “essential to meeting the demand that   contributed to pervasive inertia in the
            would have been necessary [1].    would follow the market success of elec-  area of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging
              The key to transforming the energy   tric vehicles,” says Klaus Fröhlich, CEO   infrastructure. Around 10 to 15 EV
            sector is to minimize our dependence    of Development at BMW, before adding,   fast-charge stations would have to be
            on fossil fuels, which currently account   “From my point of view, the issue of   installed for each conventional gasoline
            for around one-quarter of global green-  infrastructure has been neglected” [5].  pump to accommodate a robust EV mar-
            house gas emissions. Here we need to   Renewable energies are to account for    ket penetration. No existing power grid
            avoid limiting our focus to the regio-  65 % of total production in Germany    could come close to accommodating the
            nal or national level. While it remains    by 2030. Still, this will not suffice to   power demand associated with simulta-
            essential to reduce carbon emissions
            in Europe, it is instructive to consider
            that China, the United States and India
            account for around half of the emis-    Expected growth in power generation  Expected growth in power generation
                                                      in billion (10 ) kWh worldwide      in billion (10 ) kWh in the EU
            sions [1], which entails that a Europe-
                                               45,000                               4500
            wide reduction of 5 % would have no
            more than a minimal global impact.   40,000                             4000
            Achieving the stated reduction aims in
            Germany would be exemplary, but prac-                                   3500
            tically irrelevant in global terms.
                                               30,000                               3000
            REGIONAL DIFFERENCES                                                    2500
                                               20,000         Current policies (IEA)  New policies scenario (IEA)  BP – Energy outlook  EIA – reference scenario  ExxonMobil  2000
            Countries like China, France, India,                                                            Current policies (IEA)  New policies scenario (IEA)
            Japan, Russia, Sweden and the United                                    1500
            States have it easier because their use of
                                               10,000                               1000
            nuclear power, and in some cases, even
            their willingness to expand its use [3],
            gives them access to significant quanti-
            ties of low-emissions power that can be   0  2016       2040               0        2016        2040
            fed into the grid at any time in a regu-            Year                                Year
            lated manner to avoid the volatility asso-  IEA: Current policies  Wind, biomass, solar  Current policies  Wind, biomass, solar
            ciated with wind and solar power. More-  © VGB Power Tech e. V.  + 71 %  Water  + 0.2 % per year  Water
                                                                                         + 5 %

            over, conventional coal and gas-fired   + 2.0 % per year  Nuclear energy  New policies scenario  Nuclear energy
            power plants capable of rapid deploy-  New policies scenario  Fossile energies  + 8 %   Fossile energies
                                                    + 61 %
            ment usually need to be maintained    + 1.9 % per year                    + 0.3 % per year
            as sources of reserve power for interna-  Expected growth in global and European power production by 2040
            ATZ worldwide 11|2019                                                                             9
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