WISE Lecture Series - Energy Perspectives for Germany and Europe: A Researcher’s View
Dr.-Ing. Joachim U. Knebel, Chief Science Officer, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Lecture Location: Davis Centre DC 1302
Reception and Refreshments follow the lecture in DC 1301
In Germany, researchers, politicians, businesses, and society are facing the challenge of the century: implementing the 'Energiewende', or energy turnaround, that has been adopted by the federal government. By 2050, Germany's primary energy consumption is to be half of what it was in 2008. Renewable energies are to reach a share of at least 60 per cent of the country's gross energy consumption and they are to cover 80 per cent of electricity consumption. Greenhouse gas emissions are to decrease by 80 per cent from 1990 levels. If Germany is to realise these goals, it has to restructure its energy system in the long term. This requires new technologies for using primary energies and for converting, storing, and distributing them.
In line with the German Energy Research Programme, entitled 'Research for an environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply', KIT performs national provident research in six fields: Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources - for restructuring energy supplies; Renewable Energies - for future-oriented energy supplies; Storage Systems and Cross-linked Infrastructures - for the renewable energy age; Technology, Innovation and Society - transformation processes and analyses of the energy system; Nuclear Waste Management and Safety; and Nuclear Fusion - as a long-term option.
The talk discusses the challenges of the German Energiewende both in a national and a European context, gives some successful examples - from the fields described above - on how research results help to realise a new energy supply system. Finally, requirements and next steps are formulated which take into account the complex system context and the political and societal issues involved.