Climate control and energy transition are two of the great challenges of our time.
The target for Europe is to become climate-neutral by 2050. The only greenhouse gas emissions which will then be permitted will be such as can be removed from the atmosphere by natural or artificial processes, thereby preventing an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases.
The European Climate Law stipulates a reduction of at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to the 1990 level. Germany wants to become climate-neutral by 2045 – five years earlier than originally planned. Therefore, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced even more by 2030. They will need to fall by 65 per cent (instead of 55 per cent). The new law prescribes a reduction of 88 per cent by 2040 in comparison with 1990. In setting these goals, Germany is not only seeking to do the bidding of the Federal Constitutional Court, but also to position itself as a pioneer in Europe – not least because the new stricter targets were adopted under Germany’s Council Presidency.
We are playing a leading role in shaping the course of the energy transition towards a climate-neutral world. In terms of strategy, we are developing scenarios and solutions for a sustainable transformation. When it comes to advising on policy, our role involves monitoring, evaluating, examining innovation mechanisms, and exploring ways of adding value. At the technical level, the ZSW is showing how electricity from wind and sun can be efficiently integrated into power grids and how the generation and consumption sectors can be linked through sector coupling and storage systems. This is achieved through the smart control of generators, distribution grids and levels of demand on district loads. Technologies for sustainable mobility and the use of artificial intelligence also come into play. We are developing new strategies for industry for a climate-neutral and resource-efficient economy. These effective instruments are all being used to push the energy transition and climate control measures forward in the EU and at both national and regional government level in Germany.