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Project Information
"Impediments to increasing the share of renewable energies in the grid-connected energy supply in Germany"
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Project Management:
Prof. Dr. Johann Köppel

Dr. Elke Bruns
Research Associate:
Dr. Elke Bruns
Zentrum für Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG)
der TU Berlin
  • Dr. Dörte Ohlhorst
  • Matthias Futterlieb
Ingenieurbüro für neue Energien (IfnE)

  • Dr. Bernd Wenzel

Forschungsstelle UmweltEnergieRecht

  • Thorsten Müller
  • Frank Sailer
01.07.2010 - 31.09.2012
Final report:
Energy Grids as Backbone of the Energy Transition – Impediments for the Integration of Renewable Energy into Electricity Networks, Gas Distribution Systems and District Heating


The German federal government pursues the further expansion of renewable energy uses. Their share in Germany's electricity supply is to be increased to at least 30 % by 2020 and to be continually increased thereafter (§ 1 Subsection 2 of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act). The share of renewable energies in the heat sector is to be increased to 14 % until the year 2020 (§ 1 Subsection 2 of the German Act on the promotion of Renewable Energies in the Heat Sector). This strategy is embedded in the expansion goals of the EU Renewable Energy Directive providing for a share of at least 20 % of the final energy demand by 2020 (Germany: 18 %).

The transition towards high shares of renewable energy sources entails new challenges for all levels of energy supply, regarding the extension and the modernization of grids, the market access to these grids as well as the regulation of supply and demand. Grids are an essential element of and prerequisite for achieving high shares of renewable energy in the electricity and heat supply. This project seeks to reveal the structural preconditions necessary for increasing the share of renewable energies in the grid-connected energy supply. The cross-system analysis of the technical, social, political, administrative and economic interdependencies will identify all relevant actors, their respective interests and how they can be aligned.

This research project serves as a starting point for structuring the problem area. It consolidates the already available, however fragmented and partly inconsistent results from various renewable energy research areas (generation; storage; electricity, heat and gas distribution; regulation; market patterns; etc.). The aim is to explore the existing, partly known impediments for the further development in a comprehensive perspective, to highlight pending questions and to provide options for overcoming these impediments.


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