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The Federal Government's current plans mean that the security of electricity supply will remain high in the period from 2025 to 2031. This is confirmed by the report on monitoring the security of supply with electricity presented to the Federal Government by the Bundesnetzagentur and approved today by the Federal cabinet. The report is based on provisions made in section 51 (3) and section 63 (2) no. 2 of the Energy Industry Act. In the report, the Bundesnetzagentur considered the development of the electricity market given the statutory expansion of renewable energies, the transformation of the power plant fleet and the grid expansion. Electricity supply will be secure even if coal is phased out in 2030. Alongside the report, the Federal Government is presenting joint recommendations for action derived from the findings of the report. The next step is to forward the report to the Bundestag.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, said: "It is crucial that consumers are always supplied with electricity. We will also guarantee this security of supply when restructuring our electricity system to 100 percent renewable electricity. The Bundesnetzagentur is therefore monitoring the individual steps and stages very closely. The report by the Bundesnetzagentur approved by the cabinet today shows that electricity demand can be reliably met at all times between 2025 and 2031. This would also apply should electricity consumption increase significantly due to new consumers such as electric vehicles and heat pumps and if the coal phase-out takes place by 2030. As you can see: we are on the right track. Now discipline and determination are required. We are driving forward the restructuring of our energy system with continued resolve. This applies to the expansion of renewable energies, the grid expansion and the modernisation of the power plant fleet. To this end, we are launching a power plant strategy in the first half of this year so that the power plants needed for a climate-neutral electricity system can be built. New power plants must be hydrogen-ready and be planned as such from the very beginning. We will design our policies accordingly."

Background to the report:

The Bundesnetzagentur submitted the report on the monitoring of the security of supply with electricity in accordance with section 51 (3) and section 63 (2) no. 2 of the Energy Industry Act. The report examines the security of supply in a forward-looking manner for the medium-term horizon from 2025 to 2031. It considers the market environment and the development of the grids. On the basis of the report, the Federal Government has developed and approved recommendations for action on how the security of supply analysed in the report can be guaranteed.

The Bundesnetzagentur based its analysis on the Federal Government's ongoing plans for the transformation of the electricity system. These include: the expansion of renewable energies in accordance with the goals of the amended Renewable Energy Sources Act (2023 RES Act) and the amended Offshore Wind Act - by 2030 the generation capacities of onshore wind, offshore wind and photovoltaics will increase to a capacity of 360 GW. The transmission and distribution grids will be expanded in accordance with the Network Development Plan. The report states that, in the course of the realisation of these goals, the electricity system will still be robust enough to guarantee supply security even if there is 10 gigawatts (GW) less generation capacity on the market.

According to the report, additional controllable power plants must be built. These cover the demand for electricity when the generation of wind and sun is not sufficient. Flexible loads and storage help to regulate the demand for electricity. Flexible loads are for example electric vehicles, heat pumps or hydrogen electrolysers. They can use more electricity when generation is high and reduce consumption when demand is high. The report looks at the transformation of the electricity system assuming a coal phase-out by 2030, as envisaged in the coalition agreement between the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Alliance 90 / The Greens and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

The Federal Government is presenting recommendations for action together with the Bundesnetzagentur report. In order to continue to guarantee the security of supply at the highest level, the many efforts already being made by the Federal Government will be continued. With the expansion of wind and solar energy, further efforts should be made in various areas of law so that the measures to achieve the expansion goals can take full effect and the statutory goals can be achieved. The Federation, the Länder and municipalities will continue to be called upon to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies and to further improve the policy environment. It is also recommended to further promote the expansion of controllable generation capacity and to quickly implement the promotion of new hydrogen power plants, biomethane and biomass power plants envisaged in the 2023 RES Act. The Combined Heat and Power Act is and will remain an important building block for the expansion of the power plant fleet. In addition, the obstacles to making demand more flexible should be addressed as quickly as possible.

The Bundesnetzagentur report analyses the period from 2025 to 2031, i.e. the medium-term outlook for security of supply.

On the methodology of the report:

To ensure that there is a high level of methodological robustness, the assessment of the supply security in the report is based on two separate studies. These analyses were written by the renowned energy consulting companies Consentec GmbH in cooperation with IER and FfE, and r2b Energy Consulting.

Both studies calculate a scenario that reflects the goals of the Federal Government in accordance with the coalition agreement and statutory requirements, e.g. for the expansion of renewable energies and electric mobility. Both studies assume that coal will be phased out in 2030, as this is an initially challenging and therefore central assumption for the electricity system. Nevertheless, both studies conclude that supply would be secured in such a scenario.

In addition, another study examined what would happen if 10 GW less power plant capacity was to be available. In such a scenario, we observe only minimal effects on the level of security of supply in the electricity market.

The security of supply monitoring considered a large number of possible situations and included various weather patterns and power plant failures, i.e. challenging situations for the system, in order to determine the expected level of supply security in the electricity market should the Federal Government's goals be achieved. This method of monitoring the electricity market is also laid out in the EU Internal Market Regulation. It is "probability-based", i.e. it considers an expected development over a large number of situations:

  • A power plant fleet is appraised for each year considered, and then audited to see whether it can provide a secure supply in different situations.
  • For every hour in the year (8,760 hours), 350 different power plant failures are estimated. They are then combined with six different meteorological years. This also includes meteorological years with very cold periods and periods of no wind or sunshine. Overall, the study looks at 2,100 combinations of weather and power plant failures for every hour (a total of around 18 million situations per year).
  • With regard to security of supply in the electricity grid, a detailed grid model is used to analyse whether electricity can also be transported to the consumer in the year under consideration.

The Federal Government publishes the monitoring of security of supply every two years. The recommendations for action are to be submitted every four years. The report must therefore be clearly separated from the parallel needs and system analyses submitted by the transmission system operators for 2023 and 2024. According to section 3 of the Grid Reserve Ordinance, the transmission system operators present their analyses once a year to determine the extent to which electricity can be transported between producers and consumers through the existing grid. This analysis is currently being developed by the network operators and will be presented in April. On this basis, the necessary grid reserve capacities are determined by the Bundesnetzagentur; the Bundesnetzagentur will continue to regularly monitor the security of the energy supply and create a report based on the data from the network operators' report.

You can find the report on monitoring the security of electricity supply here; the recommendations for action can be found here.

Explanatory notes to the report can be found here (all in German).