We need to talk about energy consumers

We need to talk about energy consumers


This is what GP JOULE has done, with parties including Minister-President Kretschner and Federal Minister of the Economy Habeck. After all, we must urgently increase load handling in order to not put this addition to wind and solar energy at risk.

In Europe we have the space to generate sufficient quantities of energy using wind and solar power. We have all the technologies we need to implement renewable energy projects now. However, there is one big sticking point: we don’t have the flexible consumers we need to use the energy. The lofty goals for the expansion of wind and PV systems simply do not match the load capacity of our electricity system.

Some 560 gigawatts of wind and solar output are set to be installed on land by 2040. By contrast, however, the electrical load capacity or current draw (the electricity consumed when virtually all devices are switched on) is only around 90 gigawatts.

The problem: we need many more electricity consumers to achieve these expansion goals. If the load capacity is not increased, the expansion of renewable energies will fail. The solution is to invest heavily in technologies that will boost our load capacity: large-scale electrolysis, high-capacity heat pumps, higher absorption capacities in industry. Furthermore, we must connect the large number of new electricity consumers – e-cars, heat pumps, small battery storage facilities – in a manner that is beneficial to the grid.

Ove Petersen, CEO and co-founder of GP JOULE, explained this issue to both the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and the Minister-President of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther at the HUSUM WIND 2023 trade fair. Petersen also spoke with Lower Saxony’s Minister for Economics, Labour and Transport Olaf Lies. Electricity consumers were further discussed at the East German Energy Forum in Leipzig, where GP JOULE CTO and founder Heinrich Gärtner greeted Saxony’s Minister-President Michael Kretschmer, among others, at our stall.

The message was and remains that the gap between electricity generators and electricity consumers can be bridged if we combine energy generation, conversion, transport and consumption. The conversion of energy into hydrogen and heat must occur directly at the site where electricity generation takes place. This takes the strain off the grid and as such is good for the energy system – and for local value creation.

GP JOULE demonstrated how this works with its “future-fit energy systems”. This interactive exhibit at our trade fair stand showed how an energy system based entirely on renewable energies functions and connects all sectors with one another. And our approach of bringing everything together is borne out in practice too, in projects such as the high-capacity heat pump in Mertingen, which is connected directly to a PV park and supplies almost 200 homes with heat, or the eFarm hydrogen mobility project in Nordfriesland which is transforming surplus wind electricity into hydrogen and powering local transport.