Published March 2, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Open model-based analysis of a 100% renewable and sector-coupled energy system–The case of Germany in 2050

  • 1. Department of Energy and Environmental Management, Europa-Universität Flensburg, 24943 Flensburg, Germany


The ambitious energy target to achieve climate-neutrality in the European Union (EU) energy system raises the feasibility question of using only renewables across all energy sectors. As one of the EU’s leading industrialized countries, Germany has adopted several climate-action plans for the realistic implementation and maximum utilization of renewable energies in its energy system. The literature review shows a clear gap in comprehensive techniques describing an open modeling approach for analyzing fully renewable and sector-coupled energy systems. This paper outlines a method for analyzing the 100% renewable-based and sector-coupled energy system’s feasibility in Germany. Based on the open energy modeling framework, an hourly optimization tool ‘OSeEM-DE’ is developed to investigate the German energy system. The model results show that a 100% renewable-based and sector-coupled system for electricity and building heat is feasible in Germany. The investment capacities and component costs depend on the parametric variations of the developed scenarios. The annual investment costs vary between 17.6 and 26.6 bn €/yr for volatile generators and between 23.7 and 28.8 bn €/yr for heat generators. The model suggests an investment of a minimum of 2.7–3.9 bn €/yr for electricity and heat storage. Comparison of OSeEM-DE results with recent studies validates the percentage-wise energy mix composition and the calculated Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) values from the model. Sensitivity analyses indicate that storage and grid expansion maximize the system’s flexibility and decrease the investment cost. The study concludes by showing how the tool can analyze different energy systems in the EU context.


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ENSYSTRA – Energy Systems in Transition 765515
European Commission