Strategies for a Greenhouse Gas-Neutral Energy Supply by 2045

On November 3, 2021, IEK-3 presented in an online event its study "New targets under old pathways? Strategies for a greenhouse gas neutral energy supply by 2045". On this page you can read the key statements of the study. A recording of the event is also available.

Under the new Federal Climate Protection Act (KSG), Germany is committed to becoming greenhouse gas neutral ("net zero") in terms of anthropogenic emissions by 2045. After that, negative greenhouse gas emissions are to be achieved. Compared with the regulations previously in force, the new law prescribes a tightening of the climate protection target for the year 2030 and, more recently, legally binding annual reduction targets up to the year 2045. Both the achievement of greenhouse gas neutrality and the shortening of the transformation period represent a particular challenge compared to previous regulations. Compared with the greenhouse gas reduction targets pursued by the EU under the Green Deal, Germany's new legally binding targets are significantly more ambitious, both in terms of quantitative reduction targets and the remaining period for action.

In recent years, many national studies have analyzed greenhouse gas mitigation strategies. With a few exceptions, almost all these studies are based on the greenhouse gas reduction targets that were in effect before the amendment of the Climate Act. There is a need for ways and strategies to achieve these new and significantly more ambitious targets. In addition, it is important to analyze whether the strategies pursued to date are still valid or whether they need to be adapted.

The greenhouse gas reduction scenario analyzed in this study is based exclusively on the overarching reduction targets of the current climate protection law. The analyses also include sensitivity calculations to be able to classify the robustness of the results and statements. The model family ETHOS (Energy Transformation Pathway Optimization Suite), which was developed by the Institute for Techno-economic Systems Analysis (IEK-3) at the Research Center Jülich, was used for these analyses. This model suite makes it possible to map the energy system on different scales in all its interactions and pathways. The spectrum ranges from detailed regional analyses of possible wind power and PV expansion to the calculation of national greenhouse gas-neutral scenarios.

The analyses show that a far-reaching restructuring of the German energy supply, encompassing all sectors, is necessary to achieve the more stringent climate gas reduction targets and greenhouse gas neutrality. The scenarios show how greenhouse gas neutrality can be achieved.

Video of the Event (German):

Last Modified: 02.06.2022