The scenario analysis focuses on three major aspects:
First of all, it provides a detailed picture of possible technology pathways in the electricity sector characterized by low carbon emissions and different levels of electricity demand. Therefore a cap of 75 Mt is applied to the average annual CO2 emissions in 2050, equivalent to a 95% reduction compared to 1990 levels in all three scenarios. In contrast to the previous study published in 2011, the technology mix includes CCS and nuclear as additional decarbonisation options. The analysis is carried out using a least cost approach and modelling the entire time frame 2020-2050 in steps of 10 years.
Secondly, the study analyzes the impacts of increased efficiency when consuming electricity on the required infrastructure, the electricity supply structure and the cost of the system. Scenario D “Moderate Demand” is based on the electricity demand of the TRANS-CSP study (DLR 2006) and projects a moderate demand development in Europe. In addition, a scenario with higher electricity demand is calculated, which is based on the demand level in Scenario 3 (“Diversified supply technologies scenario”) of the Energy Roadmap 2050 published by the European Commission in 2011 (European Commission 2011).
In a third step, the impact of changed public acceptance of land use for renewable energy is analyzed based on the example of onshore wind. Increased land use for onshore wind is applied in Scenario E and a 15 GW restriction on German offshore wind capacity is enforced in the model.