Germany Member Committee

Weltenergierat - Deutschland e.V.

Weltenergierat–Deutschland is the national member representing the Federal Republic of Germany at the World Energy Council. Its members include companies in the energy industry, associations, academic institutions and individuals. As a non-governmental, joint profit association, Weltenergierat-Deutschland is independent in its opinion. Its objective is to implement and disseminate key World Energy Council insights and knowledge in Germany, in particular, to bring the global and longer-term issues and needs of the energy and environmental policy to the attention of the national debate. To this purpose, it organises its own events and carries out its own studies.

After having studied chemistry at the university of Hamburg, where he gained his PhD in 1978, Dr. Uwe Franke joined BP on 1st Jan 1979 where he worked in several positions up to his last position at BP as CEO of BP Europa SE until 30th April 2012 when he retired. Dr. Franke has played a role in many associations and organisations at the interface between business and politics. Examples are: Board of the German Industry Association BDI, Board of the German Transport Forum DVF, Board of the Eastern Committee of the German Industry, Steering Committee of the Energy Commission, Advisory Council to the Government, the German-Russian Forum, the German-British Königswinter Conference etc.

He founded the Diversity Charta in Germany under sponsorship of Chancellor Merkel and was appointed German Ambassador for diversity. Dr. Franke is a non-executive Director of Hoyer GmbH, Basalt AG, Arbiom SA, Alexander Proudfoot Consulting, Cash Payment Solutions GmbH, Brahms Oil Refineries LTD and Waschpakete.de. He advises IFM Industry Funds Management as Senior Advisor. Furthermore he has joined Bernotat+Cie GmbH as Mentor for Senior Executives. On 1st January 2014 Dr. Franke took the position as President of the German Member Committee of the World Energy Council.

Carsten Rolle, Secretary General of the German Member Committee of the World Energy Council since 2005, holds a PhD in economics from Münster University. After his studies, he managed the department for telecommunications and postal services at the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Berlin. Since 2008 he has been the Managing Director of the Energy Policy department.

Nicole Kaim-Albers is the head of office at the Weltenergierat – Deutschland. Nicole is working at the interface between the national and international level, as well as between the public and the private energy sector. Holding a Master’s degree in European Studies, Nicole studied at Universities in Bremen, Krakow, Bath, Paris and Berlin.

Energy in Germany 

germany, critical uncertainties, action priorities

With Germany having the most diverse political spectrum since the 1930s, EU Cohesion is one of the most discussed topics. Much focus has been given to Brexit and its consequences, as well as the impact of national policies on the climate challenge. In this context, a (single) market design is not expected to be achieved soon.  

Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence moved from being a Critical Uncertainty to become an Action Priority. This is a clear signal that the sector has gained more experience in making use of this technology and the implementation is now of high interest. In 2018, renewable energies have reached again a new record and are expected to continue growing. It is important to note that the four Transmission System Operators (TSOs) in Germany are facing challenges to integrate additional capacities into the grid. While some are strongly focusing on expanding the grid, others are investigating opportunities to digitalise the grid and increase its efficiency. 

In a highly renewable electrified energy system, long-term storage opportunities are still an issue and market designs are constantly evolving to accommodate different stakeholders. The overarching climate framework has gradually evolved into a socio-economic topic. Germany has understood that the transformation in the energy sector calls for new economic structures. There is currently a strong ongoing discussion on the phasing out of lignite coal. In addition, the German government has formed the commission of “Growth, Structural Change and Employment” in June 2018, to envisage a transformative plan for the lignite coal regions within the dimensions of the Energy Trilemma. 

IoT/Blockchain has a lower uncertainty in comparison to 2017, however business models are still not competitive when based exclusively on Blockchain. Currently, the technology is used when integrated into existing processes such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation). Furthermore, one of the key uncertainties is the implementation of EU data regulations.  

Market Design must be understood in the context of the German Energiewende and the different market designs within the European Union. Despite the challenges of integrating a growing share of renewables and phasing out nuclear and lignite coal, the national focus of Energiewende inherits socio-economic issues as well. At the same time, the EU’s Clean Energy Package will be passed in early 2019 to harmonise 27 different energy systems via interconnectors and to create a common framework for generation capacity. A critical debate on bringing these aspects together is the main challenge for the upcoming years.  

IoT/Blockchain is acknowledged by the sector as a critical uncertainty, mainly on how and what processes and services it will affect. Some use cases such as maintenance or automated trading exist but are not yet fully implemented. In order to reduce uncertainty, more time is needed to further explore specific challenges and use cases of this technology.  

In Germany, the Climate Framework discussion for the power sector falls under the Energiewende. Other sectors like transport, have had a slower progress in this aspect and therefore remain uncertain. Environmental concerns around vehicles powered by fossil fuel are increasing, as the automotive industry is the single largest sector of the German economy. Today, the diesel debate addresses the fuel type we would use in future and discusses new concepts of transport. While the public is calling for low emission cars, e-vehicles have only reached a market share of 1.9% in Germany so far.  

With more than 36% shares of the power market, renewable energies will reach a new record in 2018. With all four TSOs in Germany facing challenges of integrating additional capacities into the grid, this is an important Action Priority for energy leaders. While some TSOs are focusing on expanding the grid, others are investigating how to digitalise and increase the overall grid efficiency, which ideally would lead to a lower need of expanding the infrastructure. Therefore, energy efficiency is well captured in the power sector, while transport and the building sectors are still searching for adequate measures to improve efficiency rates to support lower emission targets.  

Grid infrastructure is one of the cornerstones of the Energiewende. It is expected that digital technologies will become enablers of flexibility of power generation, balancing a higher share of volatile renewable energy sources (RES). Digitalisation is highly accepted in the sector for internal processes, but it is slowly starting to be accepted in customer-related processes such as smart grids. This acceptance is high for industrial customers and modest-low for retail customers. Therefore, connected devices are expected to increasingly enable automation and optimisation.  

With Germany having the most diverse political spectrum since the 1930s, EU Cohesion is one of the most discussed topics. It mostly focuses on Brexit and its consequences, as well as the impactof different national energy strategies on climate challenge. In general, there is more distrust from society towards the institutions of the European Union. Market participants understand the concepts like a (single) market design, but there is a lack of understanding among the broader public. Also, the willingness to cooperate on energy subjects varies strongly among neighbouring countries.  

Cyber threats show currently a low impact, but this may change with increasing numbers of incidents associated with the increased use of IT solutions. Consequently, this is a looming threat with a potential to “explode”.  

The most discussed topic in the second half of 2018 is Power-to-X and the idea of a synthetic fuel economy. First pilot projects are aiming to prove large scalability of the technology to bring costs down. The use cases are widely spread among all sectors, but still need support to be ready for the market.  

The 2019 Germany Energy Issues map focuses on the political framework (EU Cohesion, Climate Framework, Market Design), energy technologies to enable decarbonisation (Renewables, E-Storage and Innovative Transport, and Energy Efficiency) and also innovation (IoT/Blockchain and Digitalisation). Energy leaders in Germany emphasize a strong reduction of critical uncertainties in comparison with recent years. Therefore, action priorities are currently the focus of the sector, which is a clear signal of an ongoing transition, which addresses obstacles and works on improvements. 

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