Energy security

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Under energy security , the security of supply with energy understood. Energy security has economic , ecological , social and geopolitical significance, which is why short and long-term guarantee of energy security is an important political goal . Energy security is defined as the state of the economy that ensures that current and future needs of consumers for fuels and energy are met in a technically and economically sensible manner and in accordance with the requirements of environmental protection . After Ren and Sovacool energy security through the four factors Availability (presence), affordability (Affordability) Acceptability (acceptance) and accessibility (accessibility) characterized.

Energy security has been a central component of political action worldwide since the first oil crisis in 1973/74. While the short-term security of supply with (cheap) crude oil and the reduction of dependence on oil-exporting countries were in the foreground, the perception of energy security changed over time. For example, the finiteness of fossil fuels and thus the long-term insecure energy basis of modern society as well as environmental problems caused by conventional energy sources were added. In addition, other aspects such as B. the possible political blackmail by energy exporting countries such. B. Russia or the OPEC countries play a role.

Another aspect is now also ensuring an uninterrupted power supply in the future in a within the framework of the energy revolution changing energy industry . The associated accelerated expansion of renewable energies results on the one hand in greater energy security as a result of less dependence on exhausting conventional energy resources and their export countries, but on the other hand the need for the fluctuating production of wind power and photovoltaic systems through suitable measures such as the expansion of the power grid , the use of fast adjustable power plants, smart grids and, in the future, storage power plants .

Electricity and gas market in Germany

In Germany, the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) regulates the requirements for security of supply. Paragraph 1 of the EnWG defines the “safe, inexpensive, consumer-friendly, efficient and environmentally compatible” supply of electricity and gas to the general public as the goal. In order to achieve this goal, the operators of transmission networks must contribute to security of supply, in particular through the appropriate transmission capacity and reliability of the network (Section 12 EnWG). The same applies to the operators of transmission systems (Section 15 EnWG). Investments, which serve the security of supply, can be favored according to § 21a EnWG by legal regulation. There are also benefits with regard to the plan approval procedure in accordance with Section 43b EnWG if security of supply is affected.

The security of supply is monitored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in the form of monitoring (Section 51 EnWG ). The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology publishes a report every two years by July 31 at the latest on the knowledge gained from monitoring security of supply. The Federal Network Agency also reports every two years (Section 63 EnWG). If it turns out that the security of supply is not ensured with the existing systems and the measures taken for energy efficiency , the Federal Government can, with the consent of the Federal Council, order the construction of new capacities or demand control measures (Section 53 EnWG).

According to the European Association of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), Europe's electricity supply is secured at least until 2025; Despite the nuclear phase-out in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, there is no supply gap.

A comparison of studies on the need for controllable capacities in the electricity system shows how many power plants can be used in the future to compensate for fluctuating electricity production and ensure security of supply.

Discussion about phasing out nuclear power

"Electricity gap" or "supply gap" are political buzzwords . As early as 2008, the Federal Environment Agency came to the conclusion in a study that scenarios for the “electricity gap” appear exaggerated and that there are alternatives. According to the study, the lost capacities of the coal and nuclear power plants could be "easily compensated for by advances in efficiency and the expansion of renewable energies, provided that political adjustments are made in good time". This was also shown by calculations by the Aachen technology institute ISuSI.

The 2008 monitoring report of the Federal Ministry of Economics on security of supply also saw no risk of a supply bottleneck in the event of a planned phase-out of nuclear energy, even with a conservatively estimated growth in renewable energies of only 23 percent in gross electricity generation by 2020.

On the other hand, a brief analysis of power plant and network planning drawn up by the German Energy Agency in 2008 and financed by the major energy supply companies found the corresponding theses to be proven. The neutrality of the analysis was disputed.

After the federal election in 2009 - a black and yellow federal government came to power - the discussion that had already been held during the election campaign continued as to whether an extension of the service life (LZV) would make sense for the 17 active nuclear reactors at the time. Environmentalists feared that the expansion of renewable energy systems could stall due to new capacities or extended nuclear power plants . The federal government decided on an LHV in autumn 2010 and quickly got it through the legislative process. On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear disaster began . A few days later, the Chancellor announced a radical change in German nuclear policy . Eight of the 17 nuclear reactors were shut down (see nuclear moratorium ) and lost their operating license in August 2011. This ended the discussion about the nuclear phase-out and the discussion as to whether the construction of some new coal-fired power plants ( running for 30 to 50 years) would still make sense despite LHV. Since the nuclear phase-out, the now required rapid expansion of renewable energies has been in focus. In the course of the nuclear phase-out, the federal government left the Federal Network Agency to decide whether it made sense to keep a shutdown nuclear power plant ready for use as a cold reserve . The Federal Network Agency answered this question in the negative. In January 2012, an approximately four-week cold spell began across Europe . Russia announced that it would cut its gas supplies to Western Europe. At the beginning of January 2012, Unit C of the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant - net output 1,288 megawatts - had to be shut down unscheduled because defective fuel elements had to be replaced. This was offset by other power plants, including Austrian reserve power plants. However, even during this cold spell at peak load, Germany remained a net electricity exporter. On average, 150–170 GWh of electricity were exported per day , corresponding to the generation of 5 to 6 large nuclear power plant blocks. In this context, it was asked again how tight the power grid is.

The Federal Network Agency and also the network integration forum of the German Environmental Aid saw the situation calmly. The network operators have prepared well for the winter months when there is sometimes a lot of wind but little solar power in the network, according to the Federal Network Agency. According to their information, the electricity network operators held two gigawatts of power as reserve capacity at the end of 2011 - that is sufficient.

The study “Effects of the German phase-out of nuclear energy on the exchange of electricity with neighboring countries”, published in 2013, examined the effects that the shutdown of nuclear power plants had on electricity exchange between the Federal Republic of Germany and its European neighbors. Accordingly, imports increased briefly in spring and summer 2011; However, this was mainly due to seasonal effects and long-planned power plant overhauls. It was also a strong year for hydropower in Sweden and Norway, with correspondingly cheap electricity surpluses on the European market. The exit did not lead to a shortage of domestic power plant capacities.

Discussion about renewable energies

The issue of security of supply is also a controversial issue in the discussion about the increased use of renewable energies . The share of renewable energies in electricity generation is growing steadily, in 2012 it reached 23 percent. An essential property of renewable energies is the fact that they are available to different extents depending on the wind or the position of the sun and the weather. To ensure security of supply, investments in networks, storage technologies or shadow power plants are therefore necessary. The extent to which this involves expenditure is politically controversial. Electricity generation through photovoltaics currently tends to stabilize the grid in Germany, since the peak value of solar electricity generation falls at noon when there is the highest electricity demand. The creation of virtual power plants can also improve security of supply.

Discussion about import dependence on Russian natural gas

Germany covers around one third of its natural gas and one third of its oil needs from Russia, and is therefore heavily dependent. In six EU countries, Russian gas makes up almost 100 percent of the electricity supply. Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk commented in this connection that Europe was "enslaved" in terms of energy policy. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger admitted that Russia had "the longer lever in the short term" with regard to gas deliveries.

Europe could only hold out delivery failures for a short time, as the analyst Steffen Bukold determined. Other export countries such as Norway , Great Britain , Libya or Algeria could not increase their deliveries sufficiently in the short term. At the same time, Russia's revenues from the export of oil and gas have increased significantly, while military expenditures, which could be more easily financed through foreign exchange income, have increased. In 2012, revenue from the export of energy resources alone accounted for around half of Russian state revenue. Russia is currently no longer able to maintain the current level of subsidies; production is declining. In addition, Germany will have to compete with the People's Republic of China , Japan and other East Asian countries for Russian gas supplies even more than it does today . Due to political instability and geological scarcity, Russia is therefore no longer available as a reliable supplier.

An analysis presented by the Energy Watch Group at the beginning of 2014 shows that a diversification of the natural gas supplier countries is not promising to reduce dependence on Russia. The reason is that other countries will also fail as reliable suppliers in the medium term. Natural gas production in the USA will decrease again in the coming years. Not only because of political instability, also due to increasing competition with respect East Asia and the associated price wars, the EU can not on gas imported from North Africa , the Middle and the Middle East or from Kazakhstan to leave. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) cannot make a significant contribution to energy supply either, since there is no available capacity on the world market to increase LNG imports. The only alternative would be to expand biogas production and other renewable energies . Another study by Fraunhofer IWES confirms that a forced expansion of renewable energies is the recommended option for reducing the import dependency of natural gas.

Measures to increase energy efficiency in buildings and in industry are also required. This could halve the import dependency on Russian gas.

At the beginning of 2014, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger presented plans to reduce the EU's dependence on Russia. According to this, higher European gas stocks should be able to service a gap of 50 to 60 days even without imports. The Commission is also planning EU-wide emergency plans and wants to oblige countries such as Norway or Algeria to deliver higher quantities. The Federal Association for Renewable Energy and environmental associations criticized the plans as not going far enough. Instead, renewable energies would have to be expanded and energy efficiency improved.

At the beginning of 2014 - at the height of the Crimean crisis - it became known that the German energy supplier RWE intends to sell its oil and gas subsidiary RWE Dea to the Luxembourg investment company LetterOne Group under the leadership of the Russian oligarch Michail Fridman . In addition, the largest Western European natural gas storage facility in Rehden near Bremen is to be completely taken over by the BASF subsidiary Wintershall by Gazprom , an energy group controlled by the Russian state. The Wintershall gas storage facility comprises 20 percent of the German storage capacity. In addition, Gazprom receives stakes in natural gas storage facilities in Jemgum, Lower Saxony, and Haidach, Austria, which is also one of the largest gas storage facilities in Western Europe. Gazprom would then have access to the gas infrastructure in Germany for the first time. In addition to the storage transaction, Wintershall is also transferring all of its previously jointly operated natural gas trading business in Germany to Gazprom. This gives the Russian government access to a fifth of the German gas storage capacity and a fifth of the gas trading market. This transaction was approved by the European Commission in December 2013 without any additional conditions and is to be completed by mid-2014.

Discussion about decentralized power supply with combined heat and power units

As a solution to the danger of an electricity bottleneck, especially in winter, the increased use of block-type thermal power stations, in particular mini-block-type thermal power stations, is now being discussed, as these produce a particularly large amount of electricity when there is a particularly high demand for heat, e.g. B. on cold winter evenings. In the ideal case, block-type thermal power stations use 100% of the available primary energy (mostly gas or oil), since the heat generated during power generation is used for heating. In the case of large central power plants that do not use residual heat, on the other hand, only around 30% of the primary energy is used.

Discussion about coal power plants

In the opinion of environmental organizations, no further coal-fired power plants are required beyond the power plants already under construction to meet the demand for electricity , since renewable energies and energy efficiency could meet the electricity demand, even if old coal-fired power plants were taken off the grid. So far, the energy suppliers had denied this view, but more and more power plant projects are being withdrawn. “Power plant projects fall like dominoes”, the Handelsblatt wrote in February 2010 on a report on numerous withdrawn plans for new coal-fired power plants in Germany. Seven major projects were canceled within 12 months. The reason is "again and again protests from local citizens". But economic factors also played a role: “In view of the rapidly growing share of renewable energies, the generation of which fluctuates strongly, it is becoming more and more difficult to run a coal-fired power plant at full load for long periods of time. That makes the operation less economical, ”states the Handelsblatt. In addition, rising costs for the construction of new power plants, coal as a fuel and for emission certificates are causing the profitability of new coal-fired power plants to shrink, as is the prospect of longer operating times for nuclear power plants. The Danish energy company DONG will therefore invest in gas-fired power plants in Germany instead of coal-fired piles, reports the Financial Times Deutschland. As a flexible compensation for fluctuating amounts of electricity from wind and sun, they are the best alternative and also emit significantly less carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants.

In the opinion of the German Advisory Council on the Environment, neither longer operating times nor new coal-fired power plants are necessary. The Council warned that significant extensions of the service life of nuclear power plants would result in overcapacities in the system. In the long run, conventional power plants are not compatible with renewable electricity generation, as their output cannot be adapted quickly enough to fluctuations in wind and solar energy. The permanent coexistence of conventional and growing renewable electricity generation would make the system inefficient and unnecessarily expensive. Prof. Dr. Olav Hohmeyer, member of the Advisory Council, emphasizes: “During the transition period, neither nuclear power plants nor new coal-fired power plants need to be extended. The bridge to renewable energies is already in place. "

Mineral oil market in Germany

Since the first oil crisis at the latest, it has been clear that there is only limited security of supply for petroleum products . To ensure security of supply, most countries have therefore created strategic oil reserves that are intended to compensate for fluctuations in supply. Corresponding storage facilities also exist for natural gas . The capacity in Germany is at least 90 days.

Electricity market in Austria

In Austria , the Security of Supply Act regulates security of supply in the electricity market.

Electricity market in Switzerland

See : Swiss energy policy

EU law

In the EU , the Internal Electricity Market Directive regulates the provisions on security of supply with the electricity market.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Marcin Piechocki, Problems of Energy Security from a Polish Perspective . In: Jochen Franzke (Ed.) Europe as inspiration and challenge , Potsdam 2011, 97–116, p. 97.
  2. Jingzheng Ren, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Quantifying, measuring, and strategizing energy security: Determining the most meaningful dimensions and metrics . In: Energy 76, (2014), 838-849, p. 841, doi: 10.1016 / .
  3. a b Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), September 17, 2011: Monitoring report 2008  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , PDF, accessed February 25, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. Scenario Outlook & Adequacy Forecast 2012 - 2030
  5. ↑ Comparison of studies on the need for controllable capacities in the electricity system
  6. ^ Federal Environment Agency, April 7, 2008: Press release on the short study by the Federal Environment Agency .
  7. UBA: Nuclear phase-out and security of supply, Berlin 2008: DUH background paper: “Electricity gap or electricity lie? On an interest-driven debate about the future of power supply in Germany "
  8. ^ Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), April 7, 2008; Harry Lehmann and Stefan Peter: The German Development Potential of Renewable Energies in the Power Sector ISuSI: Aachen 2005 .
  9. DENA of March 12, 2008: Brief analysis of power plant and network planning in Germany up to 2020 (with an outlook for 2030)  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed February 25, 2012@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  10. / Nadine Michel, October 21, 2009: Despite surpluses - energy agency warns of power shortages , accessed on February 25, 2012.
  11. Zeit online, January 9th, 2012: energiewende-Stromnetz Electricity imports from Austria are causing a stir  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed February 25, 2012@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  12. International Economic Forum for Renewable Energies (IWR), January 19, 2012: Electricity Aid Austria: Are the utilities tricking the consumers? .
  13. Focus , February 8, 2012: France needs "power assistance" from Germany , accessed on February 25, 2012.
  14. December 21, 2011: The power grid is getting tight .
  15. Study: Effects of the German phase-out of nuclear energy on the exchange of electricity with neighboring countries .
  16. taz, February 3, 2012: The energy transition in a practical test - nuclear power blown onto the wall , inserted on February 25, 2012
  17. Manager Magazin, February 7, 2012: Tennet boss on the risk of blackouts , inserted on February 25, 2012.
  18. 3sat, May 10, 2013: Many small power plants complement each other. Virtual power plants could change the electricity market , added on July 2, 2013.
  19. ^ A b SPIEGEL: Dependency on Russia: Oettinger plans stress test for Europe's gas companies. dated May 28, 2014.
  20. EnergyComment: Background information: Russia's export earnings from oil and gas and EnergyComment: Crimean Crisis: Scenarios and forecasts for gas prices and gas supply .
  21. a b EEC: The EU's dependence on natural gas from Russia can only be ended with a steep expansion of renewable energies. ( Memento of the original from April 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , April 15, 2014, accessed June 1, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  22. Fraunhofer IWES: Natural gas substitution through a forced energy transition. 2014 .
  23. Deneff / Ecofys: Energy efficiency can cut German natural gas dependence on Russia in half. Berlin 2014
  24. BEE: This is how Oettinger does not create a secure energy supply. dated May 28, 2014.
  25. Welt Online: Crimean Crisis: Government sees no problem in memory sales. March 26, 2014 .
  26. Welt Online: Gas storage sales to Gazprom are "harmless". March 26, 2014 .
  27. Swiss Energy Foundation: Combined heat and power plants use fuels twice , accessed on February 25, 2012
  28. Hamburger Abendblatt, January 23, 2012: Adjusting the electricity consumption to the offer , accessed on January 25, 2012.
  29. a b Handelsblatt GmbH, February 7, 2010 Power plant projects fall like dominoes , accessed on September 17, 2011.
  30. Financial Times Deutschland, February 12, 2010: Dong switches from coal to gas ( Memento from January 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on September 17, 2011.
  31. ↑ German Advisory Council on Environmental Issues, February 2010: Press release: Climate- friendly, safe, affordable: 100% renewable power supply by 2050 ( Memento of the original from February 2, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  32. Government draft Federal Law Austria: Security of Supply Law (PDF; 331 kB), accessed on February 25, 2012
  33. Directive 2003/54 / EC on common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 96/92 / EC, ABl. No. L 176 of July 15, 2003 p. 37