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A comprehensive model for the German electricity and heat sector in a future energy system with a dominant contribution from renewable energy technologies. Pt.II: Results
A clear consensus exists in German society that renewable energy resources have to play a dominant role in the future German energy supply system. However, many questions are still under discussion; for instance the relevance of the different technologies such as photovoltaic systems and wind energy converters installed offshore in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Concerns also exist about the cost of a future energy system mainly based on renewable energy. In the work presented here we tried to answer some of those questions. Guiding questions for this study were: (1) is it possible to meet the German energy demand with 100% renewable energy, considering the available technical potential of the main renewable energy resources? (2) what is the overall annual cost of such an energy system once it has been implemented? (3) what is the best combination of renewable energy converters, storage units, energy converters and energy-saving measures? In order to answer these questions, we carried out many simulation calculations using REMod-D, a model we developed for this purpose. This model is described in Part I of this publication. To date this model covers only part of the energy system, namely the electricity and heat sectors, which correspond to about 62% of Germany's current energy demand. The main findings of our work indicate that it is possible to meet the total electricity and heat demand (space heating, hot water) of the entire building sector with 100% renewable energy within the given technical limits. This is based on the assumption that the heat demand of the building sector is significantly reduced by at least 60% or more compared to today's demand. Another major result of our analysis shows that – once the transformation of the energy system has been completed – supplying electricity and heat only from renewables is no more expensive than the existing energy supply.