You are here: Home Knowledge Base Towards a Sustainable Energy Mix - Renewable Energies and Fracking Solutions Wake up the energy efficiency giant
Symposium 2013

Solution for Towards a Sustainable Energy Mix - Renewable Energies and Fracking

The Challenge

The use of renewable energies is supported by many countries, while the highest growth is observed in the power sector. By 2017 more than 70 countries are expected to deploy renewable energy technolog ...

The use of renewable energies is supported by many countries, while the highest growth is observed in the power sector. By 2017 more than 70 countries are expected to deploy renewable energy technologies (IEA 2012a). Germany is a pioneer in using and developing renewable energy technologies. In 2011, renewable energies contributed to 20% of electricity and 10% of heat use (BMU 2012). Several policies measures have been put in place to realize a transition of the energy sector towards renewable energies (so-called “Energiewende”). While major energy producers as well as small scale producers have invested into renewable energy sources, the “Energiewende” also causes some challenges. Energy prices have increased considerably in recent years, partly caused by higher costs, mainly subsidies of renewable energies. New infrastructure is needed to cope with different spatial and temporal availabilities of energy. While the public generally favors the support of renewable energies in the context of climate change mitigation, social acceptance to implement projects (constructing new power grids, or plants) at local levels is critical.

Wake up the energy efficiency giant

Improving energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. But investments are not made due to the fear that measures to achieve energy efficiency are expensive or less beneficial compared with other activities. The return on investments in energy efficiency increases with increasing energy prices. But high energy prices are considered bad for the performance of the overall economy by large parts of policy-makers and society, which drives efforts to keep energy prices at a low level. Large potential to increase energy efficiency is seen in the public sector. The problem of currently not using the potential of energy efficiency could be overcome by: a) having emission trading schemes reflect true prices of carbon, b) raising awareness and setting incentives in the public sector to improve energy efficiency, c) increasing energy prices to reflect average increases in energy efficiency, which would keep marginal energy cost at a constant level.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Establish consistency of energy systems.

    Establish consistency of energy systems.

    Establish consistency of energy systems.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Diversify the use of different energy sources.

    Diversify the use of different energy sources.

    Diversify the use of different energy sources.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Change the risk perceptions of long-term investors.

    Change the risk perceptions of long-term investors.

    Change the risk perceptions of long-term investors.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society