Studie Energiewende english

Chapter 1: Summary of the overall
Performance r anking
The results of the study are divided up into
performance and dynamics rankings of the 24
countries tested. The performance ranking
portrays the current position of a country in
comparison with the other countries in respect of
the 2 main objectives of the energy revolution –
the avoidance of CO2 emissions and an increased
share of renewable energy sources – taking both
cost-efficiency and security of supply into
The dynamics ranking, on the other hand, shows
the progress a country has made in the last 5
years in comparison with the other countries
Countries which have not yet reached top
positions, can still do well here, if they have
made great efforts to create a climate-friendly,
while at the same time both secure and costefficient energy system. On the other side of the
coin are countries which fall back in the
dynamics ranking, although they were once
pioneers of climate-friendly energy policy, but
largely failed to develop further – either because
the political will to do so, has lapsed, or because
it was hardly possible to make further
Top of the class in the performance ranking is
Sweden, followed by Norway. Denmark, Austria
and Switzerland share 3rd place. That the
Scandinavian countries in particular occupy such
exalted positions is not surprising. These
countries have long promoted sustainable
energy source and are considered pioneers of
the global energy revolution.
Due to the topographical and meteorological
preconditions there, water and wind power in
particular, but also biomass and geothermics are
substantial sources of energy.
The Scandinavian countries are exceptional in
terms of the share of electricity they obtain from
sustainable energy sources. Norway reached a
98 % share in 2012 according to IEA,
concentrating almost exclusively on water
power. In Sweden too sustainable energy
sources account for nearly 60 % of electricity
supply and in Denmark the figure is 50%. Top of
the table for wind energy, compared with all
countries surveyed, is Denmark. A third of the
country's electricity production is from wind
energy. The Danish company Vestas is also one
of the technology leaders in wind energy. A
comparison with an industrial country like
Germany shows that sustainable energy there
only accounts for about 23% of electricity
However, the Scandinavians have strategies
which go beyond sustainable energy sources.
For example, more than one-third of electricity
comes from nuclear power stations; in
Denmark, on the other hand, half is from fossil
fuels. Norway utilises practically no solar
energy – understandable in view of the climatic
Austria and Switzerland are also pursuing
different paths to a certain extent: both cover
their electricity requirements to a great extent
with sustainable energy sources, especially
water power. Fossil fuels, on the other hand,
play only an insignificant role. The Swiss
though, still utilize nuclear power.
The same applies to France, which in 6th place,
has the best placing of all the big economies.
Germany's neighbouring country profits from its
large share of CO2-free electricity from nuclear
power stations. Furthermore the French already
use a high share of biofuels in road transport –
just like the Austrians.
Spain is in 7th place. The country excels above all
with a relatively low energy consumption of both
private households and companies. In an
international comparison the country is also
advanced in the expansion of sustainable energy
sources. Main contributors – thanks to favourable
climatic conditions – are solar energy and wind
Germany, often seen as a pioneer of the energy
revolution, occupies 8th position in the
performance ranking – ie in the top-half of the
table. The Federal Republic of Germany excels
particularly in the transport sector, scoring
points, for example, with an extensive rail
network. The expansion of sustainable energy
sources is also far advanced, especially solar
energy and wind power.
In an international comparison though Germany
gets bad marks for extremely high electricity
prices. The country's energy policy is not costefficient - a problem for households and
companies alike. In terms of security of supply
also, Germany is only mid-table, as the
dependency on energy imports is high – as with
all industrialised countries without their own
easily accessible resources.
The System Average Interruption Duration
Index (SAIDI) measures the supply quality of
electricity networks by the duration of supply
The SAIDI figure does not take into account
either planned interruptions nor those caused
by "force majeure" like natural catastrophes.
Valid for measurement purposes are only
unplanned interruptions due to atmospheric
influences, influences of third-parties,
responsibility of the network operator and
disturbances resulting from other networks. The
duration of the interruption must also be longer
than 3 minutes.
Following Germany in the performance
ranking are Italy, Canada and Brazil in places
9 and 10. Italy excels in the exploitation of
wind power and solar energy. The country
also has modern gas power stations at its
disposal. Electricity costs are high though, as
the country is highly dependent on imports.
Germany has not only the largest electricity
supply network in Europe, in an international
comparison it is one of the countries with the
least downtime of electricity supply. However,
this aspect could not be taken into account for
ranking purposes. The reason: not all the 24
countries looked at, provide current, valid data
about downtime – this is also true of big OECD
States like U.S.A. and Japan.
Brazil shares 10th position with Canada,
enabling it to achieve the best positioning
of all the BRICS States. The country does
particularly well with its high share of water
power. In Itaipú, in southwest Brazil, is one
of the biggest hydroelectric power stations
in the world. Numerous other power
stations are in the planning stage - a
subject of crticism against the background
of feared side- effects for the Amazon area
as a whole.1
The average supply interruption for network
clients in Germany was only 15.91 minutes in the
year 2012, according to data from the Federal
Network Agency. Only Denmark has slightly
better figures with an average of 14.75 minutes.
Sweden though has an average of 84.02
Council of European Energy Regulators: 5th CEER
Benchmarking Report on the Quality or Electricity Supply
2011; CEER Benchmarking Report 5.1 on the Continuity of
Electricity Supply, Data update, 2014.
In the U.S.A. - in 12th place - as in Canada, both
private households and industry clients benefit
from extremely favourable electricity prices,
which for industry clients in particular can be a
big competitive advantage.
of industry however, China performs badly
compared with the other countries.
Australia is in 13th place in the performance
ranking. The country does relatively well in both
cost-efficiency and security of supply. Petrol
and diesel prices are low, and the continent
produces its own entire energy consumption
needs. However, fossil fuels, especially coal, are
a huge factor. The share of sustainable energy
sources is about 11% at this time.
In the case of Japan post Fukushima however it
is the weak points which are striking, especially
concerning security of supply. Only a very small
share of electricity production is based on
homeland energy sources. The country has to
import gas and oil to a greater extent than
before the accident at the nuclear power plant.
United Kingdom occupies 14th place in the
performance ranking and is mostly around midtable in the individual categories. A positive
factor is the energy efficiency of companies,
which could be due to the fact - among other
things - that the services sector - especially the
financial industry - is big. Industry does not do as
Considering the state of development of the
country this is also not surprising.
Russia is in the bottom third of the table in 18th
place. In many respects connected with the
objective of climate-friendliness the country still
faces extreme difficulties. Russia is way behind in
comparison - this applies also to households
which have big energy consumption levels.
Russian companies also occupy the bottom
places for energy consumption and CO2
The Netherlands are in 15th place, putting them
far behind the other European countries. It is
conspicuous that the household sector in
particular performs badly. The share of fossil
fuels used in electricity consumption is still high
India follows in the performance ranking in 19th
place. The country has its weak points, especially
in electricity production. Transmission losses in
electricity production and distribution are very
high. Furthermore the efficiency of the power
stations is low, while CO2 emissions in electricity
production are high.
Japan and China - 2 very different Asian
countries - follow in 16th and 17th place
respectively. It is no surprise that China does
well particularly in the energy consumption of
households, as large sections of the population
in the countryside, especially in the west of the
country, still live in backward conditions. In
terms of energy intensity and CO2 consumption
Hungary and Turkey occupy places 20 and 21
respectively. These countries occupy 2 of the last
3 places for cost-efficiency. While petrol and
diesel are relatively expensive in Turkey,
Hungary fares badly in respect of electricity
costs for household clients in the international
Surprisingly, the highly developed industrial
state of South Korea can do no better than
22nd place. The country is in the bottom third in
every sub-section. In the international
comparison South Korea fares particularly
badly for security of supply. The country is
greatly dependent on energy imports, mainly
because it has no fossil fuels of its own.
Korea has to spend more for oil, gas and coal
imports, in terms of its gross national product,
than all the other countries analysed here.
Less surprising is the 23rd place occupied by the
emerging country South Africa. In terms of
electricity production South Africa performs
worse than all the countries compared here. Its
companies are no better.
Bottom of the class in the performance ranking is
Poland. Its biggest failure is the high share of
coal used in electricity production. In no country
is it higher. The CO2 emissions are accordingly
high. Poland is also one of the laggards in costefficiency. High electricity costs for household
clients are a factor here.
Dynamics r anking
The results of the dynamics ranking,
ranking which
shows changes compared with the status quo 5
years ago, differ greatly from the performance
Denmark is in first place, in front of the U.S.A.
While Denmark's achievement is impressive, as
the country was already at a high level of
climate- friendly energy production back in 2007,
the excellent results of the U.S.A. are surprising,
given the fact that they are often portrayed
internationally as "climate sinners".
The U.S.A. have made clear advances in
recent years, particularly with solar and
wind energy. In recent times fracking
technology has brought about a swift
expansion of gas exploration, although this
current development is not yet fully
reflected in the figures.
Fracking technology facilitates access to
highly inaccessible resources of so-called
shale gas. However, as chemicals have to
be pressed deep into the ground to break
up the rock, the fracking method is also the
subject of criticism. This is particularly the
case for plans to use fracking in populous
Europe, especially in Germany.
Among the Scandinavian countries,
occupying top places in the performance
ranking, apart from top of the class
Denmark in the dynamics ranking, Sweden
does well in 6th place, Norway however
occupies 18th place. This can be explained
by the fact that almost the entire electricity
production of Norway is from sustainable
energy sources, especially from water
power. Apart from utilising wind energy
even more there just is not much more
room for improvement.
The 2 crisis-hit, southern European countries
Spain and Italy do surprisingly well in the
dynamics ranking, reaching 3rd and 5th place
respectively. Despite the challenges posed by
the Euro debt crisis and almost unnoticed in the
context of the German debate, both countries
have made great progress. For example, Spain
has modernised its transport sector and
expanded its sustainable energy sources
massively. Solar energy has been the largest
field of expansion here. Photovoltaics have also
become very important in Italy. However the
biggest sustainable energy source here remains
water power.
Between them is Hungary in a shared 3rd place.
The country has greatly improved in the area of
private households, where it is no. 1, thanks to a
sharp reduction in energy consumption and CO2
The best-ranking non-European country in the
dynamics ranking is Australia, which shares 6th
place with Sweden. The country has put a great
deal of effort into the energy revolution in
recent years. The conditions for sustainable
energy sources in Australia are very good –
with a lot of sunlight, strong winds and tides.
There were also similar subsidies for solar
devices, like in Germany. Therefore numbers of
existing photovoltaic products have increased
in recent years.
However the new conservative government
rejects the energy revolution. Prime Minister
Tony Abbott, in office since September 2013,
dissolved the national climate commission and
is considering abandoning the objective that
Australia generate a fifth of its electricity from
sustainable energy by 2020.
France in 8th place demonstrates progress above
all in the share of solar energy in the production
of electricity, the CO2 emissions in electricity
production and the share of relatively
environment-friendly gas and steam-turbine
power plants in total power station capacity.
Canada is in 9th place in the dynamics
ranking – putting it clearly behind the U.S.A.,
which, among other areas, has developed its
transport and corporate sector better in recent
years. The U.S.A. have also made more
progress in security of supply – which among
other factors is down to the boom in fracking.
Of course the base from which Canada is
coming, creates a negative effect in the
dynamics ranking.
China, in 10th place in the dynamics ranking the
best BRICS state, is coming from a relatively
low basis. A lot has happened recently,
particularly in the areas of transport and energy
production. The country has not only increased
the number of patents for climate-friendly
technologies, but also moved more freight
transport onto rail. China has also greatly
expanded wind power and increased the
number of modern gas power stations.
United Kingdom follows in 11th place, doing
better here than in the performance ranking.
CO2 emissions of households remain high in the
country comparison, but there are clearly
positive tendencies in evidence over the last 5
years. Above all it was high energy prices which
led to points being deducted - prices are
climbing more quickly than in many other
The Netherlands which were relatively weak in the
performance ranking are also demonstrating
their will to make sustainable changes. The
country excels in the dynamics ranking, especially
in terms of the objectives cost-efficiency and
security of supply. It has made more progress
there in the last 5 years than most other
countries, for example in the cost of electricity.
One reason for this is the German energy
revolution: superfluous German green electricity
is being exported to the Netherlands at lossmaking prices and pushing down prices there.
Poland and Switzerland are in 13th and 14th place
respectively. Of course the Alpine Republic is
coming from a high level, while Poland is still
relatively backward overall. However positive
developments are noticeable, above all in the
corporate sector. Poland has achieved more
improvements in CO2 and energy intensity than
almost any other country.
Austria is in 15th place. Decisive progress has
been made in the objective security of supply.
The Alpine Republic's progress in all other areas
remains relatively small in recent times.
South Africa is in 23rd place. Its smallest
improvements, relatively speaking, have been in
the areas of transport and energy production.
Households and companies, on the other hand,
have made real progress.
Turkey, in 16th place, despite the low base it is
coming from, has shown hardly any
improvements at all, particularly in the energy
and CO2 consumption of households.
Brazil has made only small progress in the
transport sector. Only in Russia were
improvements even less evident. The roads still
bear the main burden of goods and people
transport, which is why the CO2 intensity remains
high. In the electricity production sector Brazil
is still behind nearly all countries in a
comparison over the last 5 years.
Norway follows in the dynamics ranking surprisingly in 18th place - together with
Japan and South Korea. It is way behind its
Scandinavian neighbours. The last 5 years
have seen hardly any improvements in
companies and electricity production in
particular. It should be said however that
especially in electricity production the
standard is already so high that it is difficult
to implement further improvements.
In view of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima
it is not surprising that Japan, as a big
industrial nation, is so far behind. It does not
look at the moment as if the the country
was treating the nuclear reactor accident as
a reason for fundamental change of its
energy policy. A withdrawal from nuclear
energy is, for the time being anyway, no
longer on the agenda. Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe's party justifies this also with the
country's climatic conditions. Typhoons and
monsoons make it difficult to operate wind
turbines and solar energy. Of the
sustainable energy options Japan has made
particular efforts to expand water power.
South Korea's poor ranking is perhaps more
surprising. So far the country sees no reason to
make fundamental changes to its energy policy
despite high CO2 emissions. In the households
sector above all there are hardly any
improvements in terms of energy consumption.
Russia and India share 21st place. Russia has
made least progress in the transport sector.
India has achieved the most progress of all
countries being compared in the sector costefficiency. That alone however could not make
up for the relatively modest progress made in
all other areas.
South Africa occupies penultimate place.
Progress has been made in both households
and companies, albeit coming from a very low
Bottom of the class in the dynamics ranking is
Germany. This has to be the biggest surprise of
the whole study. The Federal Republic does not
make it into the top third of the ranking list in
one single category. Obviously in the last 5
years, in comparison with the other countries,
Germany has made hardly any progress
creating a climate-friendly and at the same
time secure and cost-efficient energy system.
This is partly to be explained by the fact that at
the beginning of the time period in question
Germany was already relatively far advanced.
For example, there has been no more
significant expansion of the railway network in
recent years; but this is where, in the
international comparison, Germany is no. 1 in
the performance ranking. At the same time it
cannot be denied that not much has happened
in other areas.
Germany, for example, for households a poor
20th in the performance ranking, does little
better in the dynamics ranking in 15th place.
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions have
hardly improved at all.
The chapters devoted to individual countries
later on in the study, give details of the
strengths and weaknesses which led to the
respective rankings. It is worth having a brief
glance at them now though: the study
measures the main objective of the energy
system's environment-friendliness – as
expressed by the reduction of CO2 emission and
increase in the share of sustainable energy
sources – in the 4 sectors transport, households,
companies and energy production. The 2 other
elements of the energy policy target triangle –
cost-efficiency and the security of supply – are
equally weighted for the purposes of the
Progress therefore has to be made in all areas to
achieve a good position in the performance and
dynamics rankings. In other words: reasonably
priced, secure energy supply are of no use to a
country which has only modest success in
reducing CO2 emissions or vice versa: major
progress expanding sustainable energy
sources does not on its own lead to a good
ranking, if accompanied by sharply rising
electricity costs.
The following overview of the positions achieved
by the 24 countries analysed, in the individual
rankings by environment-friendliness in the 4
sectors transport, households, companies and
energy production and by the objectives costefficiency and security of supply, gives a deeper
insight into the reasons for what, at first sight,
appear to be surprising positions in the overall
ranking list.
Sector ranking: Transport
Germany shows its strength in the transport
sector, particularly in the performance ranking.
The Federal Republic has an extensive railway
network and a high share of biofuels.
At the same time the Federal Republic registers
more patents than most countries in the transport
sector for new technologies in electromobility
and energy efficiency. Switzerland is also among
the leaders, scoring among other factors with low
energy intensity of the transport sector and an
equally extensive railway network.
Denmark and Spain show the biggest
improvements in the transport sector. The
Scandinavians have especially increased the share
of biofuels used in road traffic - 5.9%, almost on a
par with Germany's 6%.
Recently Denmark has seen significant increases
in passenger kilometres per capita by rail
transport. Among other achievements Spain has
been able to reduce CO2 emissions and energy
consumption in the transport sector. It is also
interesting to note that emerging country China
follows directly in the dynamics ranking in 3rd
place. It shows that the transport sector has
continued to develop at lightning speed in line
with the country's economic boom. The Chinese
central government is specifically expanding both
passenger and freight transport systems, buying
also modern technology from abroad.
Perennial laggard in the transport sector is Brazil,
placed 24th in the performance and 23rd in the
dynamics rankings. The share of biofuels, it has to
be said, is very high in the international
comparison – at about 17% it leaves all other
countries way behind. But energy consumption
and CO2 emissions are extremely high, above all
because the bulk of transport has moved on to
the roads. While rail transport was still very
significant in the middle of the 20th century,
today the population travels predominantly by
car and bus. Brazil's trunk road network is one of
the biggest in the world. The business sector also
prefers trucks for transport, so rail transport is
falling behind here too. Apart from road
transport, inland waterways are another
important factor.
Russia is bottom of the class in the dynamics
ranking. Similarly to Brazil, energy intensity and
CO2 emissions are high in the Russian transport
One reason is the limited railway network that has
hardly grown in the last 5 years despite ambitious
expansion targets. Apart from important
connections between the big cities, the rest of the
country has a lot of catching up to do.
One valid conclusion: countries with extensive
and well-used rail networks fare better than
economies with transport sectors focusing above
all on road transport. The reason: rail transport is
energy- efficient and with electrified networks
can be operated entirely or partly by CO2-free
electricity. Small, populous countries have a
natural advantage here compared with sparsely
populated states.
The accelerated distribution of electro and hybrid
cars therefore offers above all these countries the
opportunity – at least for passenger transport – to
reduce their CO2 emissions significantly in the
medium and long term.
Sector ranking: H ouseholds
It is interesting to note that energy consumption
and CO2 emissions by Brazilian households in
contrast to the transport sector, are extremely
low, earning the South Americans first place in
the performance ranking. The dynamics have
slowed down in the last 5 years however. China
follows in 2nd place with equally modest energy
That emerging countries score particularly well in
the household sector has to do with the level of
development, among other factors, which
automatically leads to less electricity
consumption. Biomass plays a big role. In many of
these countries especially wood is still the most
important fuel for cooking and heating. As long as
it is primarily wood waste being burnt, this
energy form is CO2- neutral and therefore a
positive factor from an environmental point of
view. Critics make the point however that forests
are often cut down and not reforested, causing
negative effects for the CO2 balance. The same
assessment applies to the use of wood pellets for
heating purposes in many developed countries.
It cannot be denied that in emerging countries
often only a small part of the dwelling is
connected up to energy sources. The distribution
of modern electricity and gas meters, so-called
smart meters, is less common. An exception is
China which apart from Italy, Sweden, the U.S.A.,
Canada and Denmark has installed the biggest
basis of smart meters per inhabitant. Russia in
particular is one of the laggards.
Moreover the number of patents in the area of
energy-efficient building technology tends to be
lower in emerging countries. The biggest
improvements have been achieved by Hungary,
although with a performance ranking of 14th
place, it is still only mid-table. The energy-related
modernisation of dwellings has been specifically
promoted by the government in recent years.
Turkey has made the least progress of all in
recent years, but still manages a respectable 8th
place in the performance ranking. However there
have been no recent improvements in energy
consumption per capita or use of biomass.
In the final analysis those countries do well where
households cover the bulk of their energy needs
either with CO2-free electricity or biomass. It is
also the case in emerging countries that
electricity requirements are not as high as in
industrial nations due to their backward state of
development. There are 2 possibilities for
economies with high levels of CO2 emissions: the
expansion of CO2-free energy production and the
increased use of energy-saving technology in
electric devices, building insulation and heating
Sector ranking: Companies
Switzerland excels in the companies sector, with
industry keeping energy and CO2 consumption at
a low level. The country also utilises a high share
of biomass for energy production in industry.
Of all countries, Russia has done a great deal of
catching up - the same country where households
are last in the dynamics ranking. The biggest
improvements Russia has made have been in the
CO2 and energy intensity of their agriculture
which plays a key role in the economy.
Particularly the number of large agricultural
operations with several thousand hectares of
arable land has increased in recent years, as what
was left of the big socialist collective and state
farms has been transformed into big modern
concerns which are run in a very entrepreneurial
South Africa and China are bottom of the table in
the performance ranking of companies.
Norway actually made the least progress, but
their 10th place in the performance ranking shows
that companies there are doing well in terms of
environmental-friendliness. For example, the CO2
and energy intensity of Norwegian industry is
extremely low – only Switzerland and Denmark
produce even better figures.
Overall it is the industrial countries which excel
with relatively high energy efficiency levels being
achieved by industry. Germany does rank behind
countries like France, Spain and Italy here, but
scores on the other hand with low CO2 and
energy intensity levels in agriculture.
Fundamentally: the bigger the supply of CO2-free
energy is and/or the higher a country's energy
prices are, the better its corporate sector
performs. In this context high energy prices are a
painful but effective lever. They force companies
to be frugal with energy.
The costly expansion of sustainable energy
sources should lead to a further decrease in the
CO2 intensity of the corporate sector in Germany.
Either because low CO2 level energy is being
used, or because energy efficiency in companies
is on the rise. However, in view of this result, the
extensive exception provisions of the law
pertaining to sustainable energy sources are
counterproductive from a climate policy point of
Sector r anking Energy production
Austria and Italy in particular have achieved high
levels of environment-friendliness in their energy
production In the comparison made here
Austria is a pioneer in efficient energy
production. Furthermore the country already has
a high share of sustainable energy sources in its
electricity production.
Italy scores with a high share of solar energy. It is
here in particular that the southern European
country has made gains like no other country in
the last 5 years. Also the country's gas power
stations are relatively modern. Germany currently
occupies an upper mid-table 11th place. Solar
energy and wind power are already relatively
well developed in Germany. However the annual
number of hours utilising full capacity of
sustainable energy sources is low. The share of
power station capacity provided by sustainable
energy sources is much higher than their
contribution to electricity production.
Bottom of the table is South Africa where
environment protection in energy production still
has no great priority. The bulk of energy comes
from fossil fuels. So CO2 emissions are relatively
India also has some catching up to do; high CO2
emissions in particular are still a problem here.
The country is way behind in respect of patents
registered for sustainable energy forms, an area
where South Africa does relatively well. Only in
Norway, Denmark and Spain do these patents
represent a higher proportion of all patents being
registered in the country. India on the other hand
is bottom of the class for registering patents.
In principle: the higher the share of fossil fuels
utilised in production, the worse a country scores
in the performance ranking. There is a positive
effect in the dynamics ranking for both the
expansion of sustainable energy sources and the
utilisation of environment-friendly gas power
stations instead of coal and oil-fueled power
Sector ranking CostCost - efficiency
Canada and the U.S.A. head-up the costcostefficiency rankings.
In North America both electricity costs for
industry and household clients are relatively low,
as are diesel and petrol prices. Norway stands
out in particular in terms of its electricity costs. In
none of the other countries being compared are
these costs lower for industry clients.
Brazil and Australia score well with low diesel
and petrol prices. In Australia these are very
favourably taxed.
Brazil is the only country where diesel and
petrol prices have actually fallen in recent
years. In terms of its performance ranking
though the country's relatively high
electricity prices prevent it from attaining
one of the top places. India has made the
biggest improvements over the years in
respect of all the different types of costs.
Electricity costs in particular have fallen
In Turkey however electricity is particularly
expensive; petrol and diesel prices too are
very high. The biggest increase in prices
overall in the last 5 years was in Spain and
South Africa. Above all electricity costs have
risen sharply - especially for industry clients.
This makes the price increases in Australia all
the more striking, where costs have almost
In terms of the cost-efficiency objective it is not
surprising that those countries with their own
easily accessible energy sources did best of all –
either with fossil fuels or sustainables. Economies
which finance the expansion of sustainable
energy sources by levying charges or taxes on
the price of electricity, have relatively poor
rankings. Apart from production costs and the
kind of state support gien, market conditions are
also a factor. There is a tendency for
monopolistic structures to lead to higher prices.
Sector r anking Security of supply
Canada's top of the table placing for security of
supply is no surprise. It is a classic energy export
It is the country with the most highly developed
capacities and not dependent on energy imports.
It is remarkable that Denmark, a country without
either fossil fuel resources or water power ranks
4th. It relies above all on wind power.
The biggest improvements were in Italy – above
all due to the expansion of solar energy – and in
the U.S.A. The latter country's oil and gas
production has increased enormously thanks to
new technologies like fracking. This has led to
the U.S.A.'s lowest level of oil imports in a long
time. According to information from the IEA the
U.S.A. will overtake Saudi Arabia in 2015 as the
world's biggest oil producer. This reduces
significantly their dependence on energy
imports. By the year 2020 the U.S.A. should even
be exporting more natural gas than it imports.
This also applies to crude oil by the year 2035, as
the IEA predicts in its latest World Energy
South Korea currently has the lowest ranking in
this category. Net energy imports account for a
high share of Gross Domestic Product and the
share represented by its own production is very
low. Among other factors this is because the
country has no fossil fuels of its own and has to
import the bulk of these from overseas. Italy is
also dependent on imports to a great extent.
South Africa is the country which has made the
least improvements.
The result is a 3-class-society: at the top are the
energy exporters, followed by countries with
their own – mostly fossil fuel – energy resources
and bottom of the pile are the economies with
none of their own energy sources. The expansion
of sustainable energy sources – or the
construction of nuclear power stations –
provides above all the latter group of countries
with the option to decrease their dependence on
Chapter 2: Country profiles
D enmark
Overall r esult in the
performance and dynamics
d ynamics r ankings
anking s
3 rd
1 st
Denmark may have come an excellent third in the
performance ranking but its performance was the
poorest of the three Scandinavian countries
reviewed. Both Sweden and Norway performed
better. In the dynamics ranking, however,
Denmark headed the list. Even more than
Sweden, it made surprisingly strong progress
over five years from what was already a high
base level in 2007.
Its plus factors in energy production are the
highest proportion of wind power, the best
utilisation of renewable energy capacities and
the highest proportion of combined heat and
power generation.
The corporate sector benefits principally from its
very lower energy intensity.
In the dynamics rankings Denmark’s star
performance is its No. 1 position in the transport
sector. In no other country have the proportion
of biofuels used in road transport and the use of
rail transport by the general public increased
more strongly in recent years. In view of its ninth
place in the performance ranking this very
positive development is remarkable.
Households shine with major advances in the
reduction of CO2 emissions and the proportion of
fossil fuels in electricity consumption.
Security of supply,
supply , companies
energy production
Transport, households
Denmark was able to score points on security of
supply. The largest installed wind power base per
inhabitant and one of the highest own generation
ratios for energy consumption take the country
Performance Transport,
Transport, households
Security of supply
The reasons why Denmark falls short of its
Scandinavian neighbours in the performance
ranking are poorer topographical preconditions
that impede the use of hydroelectric power and
the decision to dispense with atomic energy.
That is why the country currently needs much
more fossil fuels than its Nordic neighbours.
What is more, Danish households have a high per
capita energy consumption, although the
banned the construction of new coal-fired power
country’s dynamic ranking indicates a turn for
the better.
In terms of security of supply all of the countries
reviewed except South Africa and Russia have
developed more positively over the past five
years than Denmark. That having been said, the
base level was very high, affecting the results
Denmark has undertaken to the EU to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 20% on its 2005
level by 2020. The country has set itself even
more ambitious energy and climate policy
targets. By 2050 Denmark aims to dispense
entirely with fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal
and oil – in power stations, central heating and
cars.2 The parties in the Danish parliament
agreed to this target in 2012 by a large majority
in an energy consensus. To tackle this challenge
the country’s Social Democratic and Liberal
government has inter alia banned the installation
of gas- and oil-fired central heating in new
homes. Only district heating, wood pellets or
heating pumps are permitted. From 2016 on,
older houses must also forgo oil- and gas-fired
central heating if there is a district heating grid to
which they can be connected. Denmark has also
Such drastic measures would be virtually
inconceivable in Germany, but in Denmark
energy policy runs along different lines in many
respects, due to a large extent to the traditionally
paramount and generally accepted role of the
Lund, H./ Mathiesen, B.V.: Energy System Analysis of
100 Per cent Renewable Energy Systems. The Case of
Denmark year 2030 and 2050, 2007.
The Danish energy revolution on which the
country embarked many years ago has led to
Denmark’s energy and climate policy targets are
all the more ambitious when one bears in mind
that today nearly 75% of primary energy
resources and 50% of electricity generation
consist of or use fossil fuels. In addition, Denmark
has deliberately opted to dispense with atomic
Denmark now generating more than half of its
electricity from renewables. The wind farms that
can be seen all over the country now generate
nearly a third of its electricity. The target is to
increase this proportion to 50% by 2020.
In 2013 another offshore wind farm came on
stream. The 400-megawatt facility off the island
of Anholt in the Skagerrak generates 4% of
Denmark’s electricity and supplies 400,000
Renewables are subsidised in Denmark too. As in
Germany, they benefit from a feed-in tariff that is
financed by a surcharge on the price of
electricity. This surcharge has latterly been the
equivalent of less than two cents per kilowatthour (Germany: 6.2 cents), however. One reason
for this is that Denmark, unlike Germany, has
never granted subsidies that make renewables so
profitable as to trigger an uncontrolled boom in
the installation of solar panels. Last not least, the
weather conditions for wind power are very good
in Denmark.
thermostat specialist Danfoss benefit from
moving away from fossil fuels.
People who would like to generate their own
power feel they are out on a limb in Denmark,
however. New legislation has brought to an end
what had been a miniature solar boom and made
the construction of privately owned and smallscale wind farms more difficult. The large firms
and the government have shared the energy
revolution between them, critics argue. The
Danish energy revolution, so it seems, is a topdown affair.
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
There are no major political disputes about
Denmark’s future energy policies, and the
overwhelming majority of the general public
supports the present policy – and does so
despite high electricity prices for domestic
customers. The country’s business sector also
views the energy revolution positively. Many
large Danish companies built wind farms of their
own years ago. Furthermore, companies such as
the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas or the
Fran ce
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics rankings
6 th
France has very balanced results that reveal
neither outstanding strengths nor serious
weaknesses. In both the performance and the
dynamics rankings it comes in the top third.
France is the best placed G7 country in the
performance ranking, but for dynamics it is
outperformed by the United States and Italy.
advantage. Fossil fuels make up only a small
proportion of power generation. This makes
France’s reliance on imports very low in this
In the dynamics ranking the energy production
sector benefits from the rising share of relatively
eco-friendly gas-fired and steam turbine power
stations in power station capacity (France leads
the field in this respect), from solar power’s share
of electricity generation and from the level of
CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity
France’s good showing in the households sector
is based mainly on the development of the share
of fossil fuels used to generate electricity, and in
the target of security of supply on the decline in
gas imports.
Transport, households, security
of supply
Energy generation, househouse holds, security of supply
Performance Households, profitability
Companies, profitability
France comes best in the transport sector, due
for one to its excellent rail network, which may
be a little less dense than Germany’s but is more
frequently used by the French public. In addition,
the proportion of biofuels used in road transport
and of electricity used in rail transport is high.
The energy production sector suffers from low
efficiency. France uses a relatively large amount
of primary energy to produce the energy that it
ends up using. Its fine CO2 balance sheet
dynamics is due to atomic energy’s large share of
energy production. It is higher than that of any
other of the countries reviewed.
In the households sector and for the target of
security of supply the large amount of electricity
generated by nuclear power stations is an
In the corporate policy sector France suffers
mainly, in terms of dynamics, from the poor
development of energy intensity in agriculture
and in services over the past five years.
2017 only a single nuclear power station
(Fessenheim) is scheduled for closure.3
As for profitability, adjusted for purchasing
power the increase in French industrial electricity
prices has been the highest of the countries
reviewed over the past five years.
The French government was not planning to
table draft legislation on the energy revolution
until spring 2014. It had planned to do so last
autumn, but a national conference held to
prepare for it ended in a fiasco, with business
associations dissociating themselves from the 15
recommendations that were drawn up mainly by
environmental organisations.
There are still no signs of even rudimentary
quantitative government targets. The French
government is merely committed to the EU’s
2020 target of 20% for energy production by
renewables and of reducing CO2 emissions by
14% compared with 2005. Under President
Sarkozy the previous government wanted to
increase the share of renewables to 23%.
In view of the reality in Germany, where
emissions rose in 2013 because more coal and
lignite was used to produce energy, French
enthusiasm about reducing reliance on nuclear
power has diminished. President Hollande once
wanted to reduce the share of electricity
generated at nuclear power stations to 50% (the
present figure is over 75%). That is no longer
mentioned. Until the end of his term in office in
The most important investment project relates to
wind power, which is mainly to be developed
offshore. A first project, launched in 2011,
provides for five wind parks off the coast of
Normandy and Brittany with a combined output
of 3,000 megawatts, equivalent to that of a little
over two nuclear power stations. They are
scheduled for completion in 2020. At the end of
2013 a further project was launched involving
two wind farms in Normandy and the Vendée
with a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts.
Saving energy by improving insulation is still
totally underdeveloped. The government may
have adopted insulation programmes but their
implementation is problematic. Rents in French
Buchan, David: The French Disconnection: Reducing
the nuclear share in Frances´ energy mix, OIES: SP 32,
cities are very high already. The government is
keen to avoid any further increases due to the
cost of heat insulation.
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
The role that Germany plays as a model in
France, be it as an example or as a warning, must
not be underestimated. Higher electricity prices
in Germany are viewed with alarm and dismay.
That is why a more thoughtful attitude is now
apparent on how to deal with France’s atomic
energy industry. In corporate circles the role of
nuclear power in the country’s energy mix is
considered to be highly important.
Among the French public, however, enthusiasm
about atomic energy has declined significantly,
especially since Fukushima. Hefty price hikes for
electricity have played a part. The old nuclear
power stations need to be upgraded in line with
rising safety requirements and the state-owned
power utility EDF is passing the costs on to
consumers. But people are now beginning to
wonder whether dispensing with atomic energy
and switching to renewables might not turn out
to be much more expensive than modernising
the old nuclear power stations and continuing to
operate them, as advocated by the electricity
industry.4 As a consequence the service life of
the old nuclear power stations is likely to be
extended to over 40 years.
4 Union Française de l'Electricité: Electricity 2030. The
Choices for France, 2011.
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynami
United Kingdom
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics rankings
Performance Households,
ouseholds, costcost- efficiency
Companies, costcost-efficiency
The UK’s high household CO2 emissions level sets
it back in the performance ranking, but the trend
is positive. Over the five-year comparison period
14 th
11 th
In the performance ranking Britain’s comes worst
of all G7 countries except Japan, which has
suffered as a result of Fukushima. Yet in the
dynamics ranking the UK is well ahead of Japan
and Germany in the middle of the field.
Performance Companies,
Companies, transport
Households, transport
Britain’s plus factors include the corporate sector
with its low energy and CO2 intensity. Yet
industry, neglected for decades, fared worse than
either services or agriculture.
The transport sector has a relatively low energy
and CO2 intensity. It also has a well-developed
railway network that is used more intensively, at
least by passengers, than in Germany.
the household sector fared especially well. Per
capita energy consumption was down by more
and the share of biomass was up by more than in
most other countries.
Sadly, that is not true of cost-efficiency. A below
average 16th place in the performance ranking is
accompanied by a 20th place in the dynamics
ranking. Much to many Britons’ dismay, energy
prices in the UK are rising faster than in many
other countries. The government is trying to ease
the burden by means of welfare payments to
households affected by “energy poverty”.
In the five-year comparison is at the tail end of
the G7 countries – together with Japan – for
security of supplies. One reason for that is the
poorest performance of all economies in
developing the net energy imports share of GDP
and the oil imports share of oil consumption.
United Kingdom needs to import a growing share
of its energy requirements now that offshore oil
and gas extraction has fallen by more than half
over the past decade.
The 2008 Climate Change Act provides for a
binding 80% reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions by 2050 in relation to 1990 figures.
The Committee on Climate Change, which is
independent of the government, drafts policy
implementation and proposes to the government
so-called carbon budgets for five-year periods.
The government implements the CCC’s
recommendations in a carbon plan. Carbon
budgets and the carbon plan make up the road
map of Britain’s energy revolution. The IEA
praises these ambitious targets and measures in
its latest country report.5
Four carbon budgets for the period 2008 to 2027
have been approved. The first three provide for a
34% reduction by 2020 and the fourth for a
reduction to 50% by 2027.
The fourth carbon budget for 2023 to 2027
might, however, be revised in the first quarter of
2014. Government politicians say that United
Kingdom ought not to reduce its emissions faster
than other European countries. The background
to this discussion and to the tension between the
government and the CCC is the increasingly
heated debate on the high cost of electricity for
consumers and industry that the Opposition is
targeting mainly for party-political reasons.
Targets for renewable energy’s share of energy
consumption are set more hesitantly in the UK
than in other EU countries. Britain is also, for
example, vehemently opposed to EU-wide
targets in this area.
IEA: Energy Policies of IEA Countries, The United
Kingdom, 2012 Review, S. 9.
The UK’s target for the share of renewable
energy is 15% of energy consumption by 2020.
Scotland aims to generate all of its electricity by
means of renewables by 2020, while Northern
Ireland has set itself a target of 40%. The CCC
has recommended a target of 30% to 45% by
2030 but the government is reluctant to adopt it.
Unlike Germany’s twofold energy revolution,
which includes abandoning nuclear power,
Britain’s is motivated solely by climate policy
concerns. Atomic energy is seen as an important
means of “decarbonising electricity”. Eighteen
years after the last new nuclear power station
came on stream, the government decided in
autumn 2013 that a new nuclear power station
was to be built by 2023 at a cost of €13 billion.
The British government has plans for eight new
nuclear power stations by 2030. The guarantees
have led to debate, with the state vouching for
65% of the construction costs and agreeing to
pay the operators a feed-in tariff of £92.50 (€76)
per megawatt-hour of electricity produced,
which is nearly twice the present market price.
This guarantee is to apply for 35 years and is to
be inflation-indexed. So CO2-free electricity is
expensive even when it comes from nuclear
power stations.
The coalition government is also promoting the
production of shale gas by means of fracking.6
political relevance in the UK than, for example,
protests against nuclear power stations,
acceptance of which is proving unproblematic at
existing locations. Wind power is considered to
be over-subsidised, as evidenced by the debate
on constraint payments to wind farms for not
producing power when it is not needed. In view
of this mood, local authorities’ rights to object to
wind farms have been extended, and from 2015
grants for onshore wind farms will be reduced in
favour of grants for offshore facilities.
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
Public opinion – that of private households and
industry – is in favour of the climate targets of
the UK’s energy policy and of the strategy to
ensure security of energy supplies by means of a
broad technology mix that includes nuclear
power.7 However, 84% of respondents in a poll
conducted for the Department of Energy and
Climate Change in autumn 2013 said they were
alarmed about rising energy prices. Resistance to
any further increases in the cost of this policy is
increasing enormously. This has already had
political consequences. The Opposition Labour
Party has promised to freeze electricity prices for
two years if it is elected. Government criticism of
green policies that are too costly has in turn
unsettled the renewable energy industry.
Opposition to wind turbines has increased
sharply in the countryside and is of greater
MacKay, David/ Stone, Tim: Potential greenhouse
gas emissions associated with shale gas production
and use, 2013.
7 Parkhill, Karen u.a.: Transforming the UK Energy
System: Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability.
Synthesis Report, 2013.
Overview of individual results by s
Performance Dynamics
Ital y
power it comes in the top third of the countries
Over all result in the
performance and dynamics ranking
r ankings
anking s
9 th
3 rd
In the performance ranking Italy is only in the
middle of the range, trailing Germany by one
position, yet in the dynamics ranking it holds an
excellent third place. This indicates that in recent
years Italy has made great progress in energy
and climate policy.
Italian companies also come in the top third,
performing especially well due to the low energy
intensity of manufacturing and the service
Recent advances in energy production are
underscored by Italy’s first place in the dynamics
ranking. Few if any other countries have reduced
their CO2 emissions per kilowatt-hour of
electricity generated so significantly by
developing renewables.
Developing renewables has also enabled Italy to
improve its security of supply better than all of
the other countries in recent years.
Performance Energy
Energy production,
production, companies
Energy production, security of
Italy’s performance is especially outstanding in
the environment-friendliness of its energy
production. One reason is the many solar power
installations set up all over the country thanks to
generous state subsidiaries. Hydroelectric power
still accounts for by far the lion’s share of its
renewable energy.
Italy is also second only to France in its use of
eco-friendly gas and steam turbine power
stations. In its use of hydroelectric and wind
efficiency ,
security of
o f supply
Italy has some of the highest energy prices of all
the countries reviewed. Its costly industrial tariffs
in particular stand out as being especially
negative. Alarmingly, the pace of this increase in
recent years has been faster than in any of the
other 21 countries analysed.
Italy’s second great weakness is its high level of
reliance on imports – a fate that it shares with all
industrialised countries lacking in significant
energy resources of their own. In the security of
supply category only Japan among the G7
countries is even worse off. Italy’s first place in
the dynamics ranking sounds a hopeful note,
In 1999 it was decreed that all electricity
producers must generate a certain proportion of
their electricity from renewables. They can do so
by buying “green certificates,” however.
Producers of electricity from renewables can
apply for green certificates and then sell them
on. Since mid-2011 subsidies for renewable
energy have been reduced.
In 2010 Italy set itself the target of producing 100
terawatt-hours of electricity from renewables by
2020. It did so partly in view of the EU
Commission’s 20-20-20 targets. In 2012 it had
come within reach of this target by producing
nearly 90 TWh of energy from renewables, due
in part to generous tax breaks for solar power
Italy has also undertaken to reduce its output of
greenhouse gases to 13% below the 2005 level
by 2020 and to generate 17% of its gross energy
requirements from renewables. It has already
achieved this objective.
Italy was the first industrial country to decide in a
1987 referendum, a year after the reactor incident
in Chernobyl, to abandon atomic energy. By 1990
it had shut down its three nuclear power stations
and called a halt to the construction of a fourth.
Ever since, Italy has imported a great deal of
energy at great expense, ironically including
large amounts of electricity generated from
atomic energy in France. In June 2011 the Italians
decided in another referendum not to revert to
atomic energy. Whether in view of its imports of
nuclear power it has succeeded is a matter of
In spite of these successes Italy still generated
70% of its electricity from fossil fuels, and for
primary energy the figure was 86%.
That is why, as a country without fossil fuel
resources of its own that are worth mentioning,
“atomic energy-free” Italy finds it hard to escape
from its dilemma. Its high level of dependence on
imports of fossil fuels leaves the country entirely
at the mercy of trends in world market prices for
petroleum and gas.
Promoting renewables may reduce this
dependence, but it also leads, at least in the short
and medium term, to high energy prices. In the
long term, however, this strategy may yet pay
dividends by reducing the level of Italy’s reliance
on imports.
In principle, sun-splashed southern Italy and the
country’s long coastlines have considerable
potential for the further development of solar
and wind power.8 At present, however, Italy still
faces the major challenge of mastering the
balancing act between the environmental
compatibility and the profitability of its energy
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
In Italian society renewable energy is accepted,
partly because it offers an opportunity to
become less dependent on foreign suppliers.
Increasing criticism of the high electricity prices
is nevertheless voiced. That is why (and because
Italy has already achieved the targets that it set
itself) the government is trying to reduce
subsidies for renewable energy. The industry is
critical, however, arguing that any cuts would hit
manufacturers hard while consumers would
derive only minimal benefits.
A new energy revolution extending beyond the
existing plans is not currently under discussion in
Italy. It is advocated only by individual political
parties like the Five Star Movement.
Italy’s National Energy Strategy: For a more
competitive and sustainable energy, 2013.
N etherlands
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics ranking
r ankings
anking s
15 th
12 th
Of the three “second tier” industrialised countries
the Netherlands is positioned between Spain and
South Korea. Overall its performance in both
rankings is no more than average. Of the
European countries reviewed, only Hungary and
Poland fared worse in the performance ranking.
Performance Energy production, transport
CostCost-efficiency, transport
As a coastal state with a guaranteed supply of
wind the Netherlands has substantial wind
energy development potential in the energy
production sector. It is already a pioneer in this
sector and in the leading group of countries
compared here for the share of wind energy in its
electricity production, as the performance
ranking shows.
In addition, the Netherlands stands out by its
large proportion of relatively eco-friendly, low in
CO2, gas-fired power stations in thermal
electricity generation and by its widespread use
of combined heat and power stations.
Along with energy production, its transport
performance is extremely good, with plus factors
that include low energy intensity, low CO2
emissions by the transport sector and a well
developed, much used rail network in a densely
populated country. An especially positive point is
that the Netherlands has made very good
progress in this sector over the past five years.
In its dynamics rankings the Netherlands stands
out especially in respect of cost-efficiency. In
recent years it has made more progress than
most other countries. In particular, electricity
prices have been kept under control for both
industrial and private customers. Only in India
has the trend been even better when adjusted for
purchasing power.
Germany’s energy revolution has been one of the
reasons for this. Temporary surpluses of German
green electricity are exported to the Netherlands
at a loss, exerting a downward pressure on prices
Large electricity consumers in the Netherlands
are now suffering from the favourable electricity
prices for industrial customers in Germany,
however. In December 2013 the aluminium
smelter Aldel (Aluminium Delfzijl) in Groningen
province applied for insolvency proceedings due
to what it claimed were “increasing price
differentials for industrial base-load electricity
between the Netherland and surrounding
countries,” by which it mainly meant Germany,
where wholesales prices are now significantly
lower than in the Netherlands.
Until mid-2012 prices were comparable, but in
Germany a price decline then set in. According to
the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce in The
Hague bulk consumers in the Netherlands now
pay up to 35% more for their electricity than their
German competitors.
Performance Budgets,
Budgets, companies
Companies households
The weaknesses of the Netherlands include, as
the performance rankings indicate, the relatively
high share of fossil fuels used to generate
household electricity and the correspondingly
high level of CO2 emissions in this sector. The
corporate sector is also characterised by high
energy and CO2 intensities, especially agriculture,
which is still an important sector in the
A factor that gives cause for concern is that there
are no signs of a reversal of this trend as yet. In
spite of the base effect (improvement is easier
from a low base level than from a high one), the
Netherlands is still in the lower ranks for both
these sectors. Most other countries have
evidently made greater progress over the past
five years.
In late summer 2010 the Energy Accord on the
future of energy policy was approved as a result
of negotiations between the Dutch state and 40
social groups representing business, the energy
sector, consumer associations and environmental
conservation organisations.9
They agreed to aim for an annual 1.5% reduction
in energy consumption until 2020. The target set
for onshore wind power was an installed capacity
of 6,000 megawatts and for offshore wind power
an installed capacity of 4,400 megawatts by
2023. The target of increasing the proportion of
regenerative energy in energy consumption from
4% today to 16% was, however, postponed from
2020 to 2023. The target for 2020 is now 14%.
The Netherlands has undertaken to the EU to
reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 16%
compared with 2005 by 2020. By 2050 Dutch
energy supplies are to be carbon-neutral. That is
a highly ambitious target when you consider that
the Netherlands is currently lagging behind the
EU’s renewable energy targets and still relies on
fossil fuels for 80% of its final consumption of
energy. The figure for primary energy is over
90%. Older coal-fired power stations from the
1980s are now to be shut down gradually or, if
possible, converted to biomass. Higher tax
breaks for solar power are also envisaged, as are
home improvement grants for insulation.10
SER: Energieakkord voor duurzame Groei, 2013.
Greenpeace International, European Renewable
Energy Council (EREC): Energy [R]evolution. A
Sustainable Netherlands Energy Outlook, 2013.
Overv iew of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
The Netherlands may have extended the time
scale slightly for its energy and climate targets
but they remain ambitious. The fact that they
were agreed by a large societal consensus merits
a special, positive mention in that their
implementation does not depend on changes in
political majorities.
This does not means that Dutch energy policy is
carved in stone, however. A debate on fracking
for shale gas flared up at almost the same time
as details of the Energy Accord were published.
Views differed above all on the findings of a
study commissioned by the Dutch Economic
Affairs Ministry that focussed on the benefits of
Ministerie van Economische Zaken: Brief aan de
Tweede Kamer. Schaliegas: resultaten onderzoek en
verdere voortgang, 26.8.2013.
Norw ay
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics ranking
r ankings
anking s
policy. Lastly, Norway is unsurprisingly a front
runner in the energy production sector because
most of its energy is generated from renewables.
Performance Transport,
Transport, companies
2 nd
18 th
Norway comes second ahead of Denmark in the
performance ranking triathlon between the
Scandinavian countries but trails the winner
Sweden. In the dynamics rankings it falls short of
both of its Scandinavian neighbours, coming 18th
overall. The discrepancy between its
performance and dynamics rankings is exceeded
only by Hungary. In recent years Norway has
evidently made less progress than most of the
other countries analysed here.
Security of supply,
supply , energy
production, costcost-efficiency
Dy namics
efficiency , transport
Norway’s greatest strength is its energy supply
security. It exports oil, gas and electricity. It also
performs very well in terms of cost-efficiency
with the lowest electricity prices for industrial
customers and the second lowest for domestic
consumers. Despite its oil riches, petrol and
diesel prices are among the highest in the study –
a deliberate consequence of government climate
energy production
Norway’s performance is below average in the
transport and companies sector. The railway
network is relatively poorly developed and the
share of electricity in transport’s energy
consumption is midrange at best. The country is,
however, well positioned in the dynamics
rankings for these sectors.
The corporate sector falls behind mainly due to
high energy and CO2 intensity in agriculture,
which in Norway’s case means fishery.
Worryingly, Norwegian companies perform
poorly in the dynamics ranking. No other country
made such poor progress over the five-year
period. An abundance of inexpensive energy
does not compel you to be efficient.
The energy production sector fares negatively
too, although the base effect plays a part. The
worst progress of all countries in the proportion
of fossil fuels used to generate electricity and the
low efficiency of energy production that sets
Norway back are due to a high base level. In
2007 Norway already produced its electricity
almost entirely by means of hydroelectric power,
so (almost) no further improvement is possible.
At first glance Norway would appear already to
have achieved what for Germany is still a distant
prospect: an electricity supply based almost
entirely on renewable energy. Its electricity, more
than 95% of which is generated by hydroelectric
power, is not only flexibly available at most times
of the year but also ensures low prices.
In spite of all the praise that may be showered on
Norway it is frequently forgotten that the
country is still one of the countries with the
highest per capita CO2 emissions in Europe. That
is because nearly 50% of its final energy
consumption is based on fossil fuels. In Sweden,
for example, the figure is a little over 40%. In
2012 Norway’s five million inhabitants emitted as
much CO2 in burning fossil fuels as eight million
Swiss. Its CO2 intensity per GDP unit is more than
25% higher than Switzerland’s. So Norway still
has potential for optimization of climate
In June 2012 the Norwegian government issued a
white paper on climate policy.12 Its most
important target is to reduce CO2 emissions by
30% compared with the 1990 level by 2020.
Norway also aims to be CO2 neutral by 2050. As
part of an international climate treaty Norway
would be prepared to achieve CO2 neutrality by
Development of new, eco-friendly industries is to
be promoted by a climate and energy fund that
is set to grow to the equivalent of €6.6 bn by
The CO2 tax on the oil and gas industry is to be
nearly doubled to the equivalent of €26.50 per
Investment in railway development, mainly in the
conurbations, is to increase. Norway also plans to
build more pavements and cycle tracks and to
subsidise electromobility and biofuels.
In the construction sector energy efficiency is to
be increased enormously. By 2015, building
regulations are to be upgraded to the passive
house standard and by 2020 to zero level.
Norwegian Ministry of the Environment: Norwegian
Climate Policy, Report No. 21 (2011–2012) to the
Storting (white paper) Summary, 2012.
The creation of flexibility options for volatile
renewables could prove even more decisive for
European climate protection than the further
development of renewables that is also planned.
The water in Norwegian pumped-storage power
stations could in future be pumped up by wind
power from Germany, the Netherlands or
Denmark. Norway would then become Europe’s
power storage facility – a country that imports
wind power and exports it as hydroelectric
The submarine cables required for growing
imports and exports of electricity not only open
up economic opportunities for Norwegian
manufacturers and network operators but also
secure for Norway a strategically important
position in the European electricity system that
will extend far beyond the age of oil and gas
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessments
The government’s energy policy targets are
supported by Norwegian business and society,
especially as the country is confident that it will
enjoy a competitive advantage in, for example,
the construction of offshore wind farms. It does,
after all, have decades of experience in installing
oil platforms in the North Atlantic.
As electricity is abundantly available in Norway,
energy saving and energy efficiency are not seen
as issues. Energy is erroneously equated with
electricity. Norway likes to overlook the fact that
13 Killingveit, Ånund: On the Transition from Fossil to
Renewable Energy in Europe. How can Norway
Contribute? in: Gabrielsen, Roy H./ Grue, John (Hrsg.):
Norwegian Energy Policy in Context of the Global
Energy Situation, 2012, S. 55-83.
its CO2 balance sheet is not particularly
impressive. Against this backdrop the
government’s climate targets are quite ambitious
in that they presuppose a change of mentality on
the part of the Norwegians.
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
Pol and
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics ranking
r ankings
anking s
In energy production Poland shines with its
positive performance in transmission losses,
electricity generation and distribution and
utilisation of renewable energy capacities.
24 th
13 th
In the performance ranking Poland, the classic
coal country, comes 24th out of 24, even trailing
its former socialist fraternal country Hungary. But
its 13th place in the dynamics ranking is a pointer
to recent progress in its climate and energy
Performance Transport,
Transport, security of supply
Companies, energy production
Poland performs relatively well in the transport
sector and in security of supply due to a fairly
extensive railway network that is much used for
freight traffic and to the high proportion of Polish
coal used to produce energy and the resulting
low level of dependence on imports.
Poland’s positive performance of late is mainly
apparent in its corporate sector. No country has
made greater strides in CO2 and energy intensity
than Poland, albeit from a very low base line.
Performance Cost
efficiency , energy
Cost-efficiency, security of
Poland’s greatest shortcoming in performance
ranking is its energy prices. Adjusted for
purchasing power they are among the highest in
the group. So substantial domestic energy
resources do not necessarily go hand in hand
with low energy prices. Very few signs of
improvement over the five-year period further
complicate matters.
A second problem is that the high proportion of
fossil fuels, i.e. coal, used to generate electricity
is higher than in any other country reviewed. CO2
emissions per kilowatt-hour generated are
correspondingly high and the proportion of more
eco-friendly gas-fired power stations is small.
It is hardly surprising, however, that security of
supply in a country with an energy supply that is
based mainly on domestic coal can no longer be
improved significantly over a five-year period.
That would only be possible by developing
renewables or building new coal-fired or nuclear
power stations.
There is, in contrast, potential for optimization in
the transport sector such as by increasing the
share of electricity in its energy consumption.
Two years ago Poland’s energy policy future
seemed clear. It wanted to rely more on domestic
shale gas, to build a terminal for liquid gas
imports from Qatar and to construct its first
nuclear power station in order to reduce its
heavy dependence on climate-damaging
domestic coal. Over two decades after the fall of
socialism coal still accounts for 84% of Poland’s
electricity. In 1990 the figure was 97%.
Much of that has now changed. The quest for oil
shale has ground to a halt now that several
foreign energy groups have pulled out of
exploration projects in presumed shale gasfields
in Poland. Furthermore, estimates of reserves
have been reduced to about a tenth of the
original figure and it is not clear how much of this
tenth could be extracted profitably. Last and not
least, the lack of a statutory framework deters
investors from pressing ahead with test drilling
more energetically. The Environment Minister has
now announced an improved draft law on shale
gas extraction in Poland. He thereby hopes to
regain investor confidence.
At the beginning of February 2014 the Polish
Cabinet approved a national atomic energy
programme including fresh plans to build the
country’s first nuclear power station near Gdansk
by 2024 and a second reactor by 2030. A final
decision has not yet been reached, however,
because the financing is still not clear, with
estimated costs equivalent to €12.5 billion.
The first liquid gas terminal in the port of
Świnoujście on the border with Germany is at
least on the verge of completion. Enough liquid
gas from Qatar is to be discharged there to meet
at least a third of Poland’s gas requirements.
There is talk of several billion cubic metres per
year, but liquid gas imports alone are insufficient
to either secure Poland’s energy supply or to
achieve the EU climate target.
That also goes for renewables, which have
hitherto contributed over 10% toward primary
energy output. Subsidies are to be based on
market principles and at the same time to
prevent overproduction as in Germany. The
existing quota model for emissions trading is to
be replaced by an auction model.
So far, however, energy revolution legislation is
so confused and half-baked that even supporters
of the government are complaining. They are
calling on the state to approve a clear concept
fast. The Polish government now risks hefty EU
fines for having failed to implement the Brussels
financial support directive.
That leaves coal. Nearly €20 billion is to be
invested in new, more efficient coal-fired power
station with lower CO2 emissions. That should
improve energy security and climate protection
and help maintain mining jobs in Silesian pits.
Overview of individual results by
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The Handelsblatt correspondent’s
co rrespondent’s assessment
Poland faces an energy and climate policy
dilemma. On the one hand protests against the
environmental risks of prospecting for
unconventional shale gas by means of fracking
are on the increase. The government is afraid
that protests will also occur if plans to build the
nuclear power station go ahead, politically
approved though it may have been. That makes
achieving the CO2 targets difficult.
On the other hand Poland not only has a CO2 and
an image problem due to its over 80% share of
anthracite and lignite in electricity generation.
Using expensive domestic coal to fire power
stations does not make economic sense either.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk may have
renewed his commitments to coal as Poland’s No.
1 source of energy and employer of more than
100,000 people, but radical structural change in
the country’s mining areas still lies ahead. Coal
will decline in importance if only because
reserves will be exhausted in 30 to 40 years’
time. That is why critics argue that this process
ought not to be delayed.14
Greenpeace International/ European Renewable
Energy Council (EREC): Energy [R]evolution. A
Sustainable Poland Energy Outlook, 2013.
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics rankings
r ankings
Sweden is top of the class in the performance
ranking and made it to a good sixth place in the
dynamics ranking. This means that in spite of its
very high existing level the largest Scandinavian
country has made substantial further progress in
energy and climate policy over the past five
years, thus ensuring itself the No. 1 position in the
performance ranking.
Reasons for Sweden’s outstanding CO2 balance
sheet are that its ten nuclear power stations
generate nearly 40% of the country’s electricity,
with renewables accounting for nearly 60% of
the remainder. They include the enormous
hydroelectric power stations in the north of the
country, plus biomass and wind power. Fossil
fuels contribute less than three per cent toward
Sweden’s electricity output.
Swedish companies have made substantial
progress in the dynamics ranking. Their CO2 and
energy intensity have improved significantly yet
again, as has Sweden’s security of supply.
Performance CostCost-efficiency
efficiency , transport
Performance Households,
Households, companies
Companies, security of supply
Sweden’s strengths in the performance ranking
include the sectors households and companies. It
fared well in both with very low CO2 emissions
and a low CO2 intensity. In addition, Swedish
households use the second lowest proportion of
fossil fuels in electricity generation, while
companies benefit from widespread use of ISO
50001 energy management certifications.
Weakness is hardly a term to be used in the
context of Sweden’s outstanding performance,
but cost-efficiency is a minor shortcoming. Even
in Sweden an energy revolution does not come
free of charge, yet adjusted for purchasing power
its electricity prices are still lower than in most
other countries. Petrol and diesel prices have
recently risen more sharply than in many other
countries, however.
Sweden’s relatively poor performance in the
transport sector is due to its base level. Placed
fifth in the performance ranking, it does not have
much more potential for optimisation in this
Sweden has undertaken to the EU to reduce its
CO2 emissions by 17% in relation to 2005 by
2020. The government has also framed further
climate targets. Buildings are to be heated
without fossil fuels and 25 terawatt-hours more
electricity is to be generated from renewables,
both by 2020. Ten years later the government’s
target is for no more cars powered by fossil fuels
to be driven on Swedish roads, and by 2050
there are to be no more net emissions of CO2. In
its latest country report the IEA sees Sweden as
making good progress toward achieving these
To do so, Sweden has adopted a number of
measures to promote renewables. They include
tax incentives and a quota system launched in
2003, the so-called Elcertifikatsystemet. Seen as
an alternative to the German feed-in tariff, it is a
market-based programme of subsidies to reduce
the cost of generating electricity from
renewables. It provides for electricity producers
receiving a certificate for every megawatt-hour
of electricity generated from renewables.
Certain commercial and public sector power
consumers defined by law are required in turn to
purchase a certain proportion of their energy
from renewables, which they can prove by
buying certificates. Energy-intensive enterprises
are exempted from this quota requirement.
Annual adjustment of the number of certificates
and quotas, leading to greater demand and rising
prices for certificates, create incentives for
producers to generate more energy from
The Elcertifikatsystemet works well and is
recognised internationally, as evidenced by the
2009 agreement in principle between Norway
and Sweden on setting up a common market for
green electricity certificates. By signing it,
Norway effectively joined the Swedish system.16
Sweden has lately taken to opting for atomic
energy once more to achieve these targets,
thereby continuing a zigzag course. In 1980
Sweden first decided in a referendum to shut
down all the country’s 12 nuclear power stations
Grande, Tove Rømo: Swedish and Norwegian
Renewable Energy Policy – the Creation of the
World’s First International Green Certificate Market,
IEA: Energy Policies of IEA Countries, Sweden, 2013
Review, S. 9.
by 2010. After the first two reactors had been
taken out of service this decision was reversed,
however. Four years ago the government
decided once and for all not to abandon atomic
energy. Permission was to be given for existing
nuclear power stations to be upgraded or for
their capacity to be increased. No Swedish utility
has yet seriously considered building a new
reactor, but the capacity of existing ones has
been increased.
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
Sweden’s energy revolution is generally accepted
in politics and society, with the target of reducing
CO2 emissions clearing enjoying preference over
a possible atomic energy phase-out. That is why
there is less public opposition to atomic energy
in Sweden than in Germany. A majority of
Swedes is in favour of continuing to operate
nuclear power stations. Swedish companies
mainly want low-cost energy. In that they are
supported by the trade unions, which would
otherwise be fearful of job losses in energyintensive industries.
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics rankings
rank ings
In the performance ranking Spain came at the
end of the first third, just ahead of Germany,
while in the dynamics ranking it even took an
outstanding fifth place. It was thus well ahead of
the other two “second-tier” industrialised
countries the Netherlands and South Korea. That
alone is an indication that Spain has made great
progress in energy policy in recent years.
Performance Companies, households
extended its railway network considerably in
recent years and increased the share of
electricity in the transport sector and that of
biofuels in road transport substantially. Its CO2
and energy intensity have fallen perceptibly as a
consequence. The country has, however,
benefited from the base effect. Despite catching
up over the past five years its performance
ranking is still only 15th in this sector.
Transport, households
Spanish companies are among the best in the
countries reviewed in agriculture, industry and
the service sector for CO2 and energy intensity.
Spanish households also have an outstanding
CO2 and energy balance sheet that has further
improved over the past five years.
In the dynamics ratings Spain has also made
great headway in the transport sector. It has
Performance CostCost-efficiency, transport
Spain’s major shortcoming and, at the same time,
paradox is revealed when it comes to costefficiency. Although Spain subsidises electricity
prices heavily, energy costs are still high. This
state of affairs is further compounded by the fact
that in the past five years electricity prices for
domestic customers have developed more
unsatisfactorily than in any other of the countries
analysed, while the prices for industrial
customers have only risen even higher in
Australia and South Africa.
Spain hat surplus renewables capacities and has
already fulfilled its EU commitments for 2020. In
2012 nearly a third of its electricity production
was from renewables. CO2 emissions and energy
efficiency are another matter, however.
According to a recent interim report Spain is
falling short of its EU’s climate targets.17 By 2020
it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by
10% compared with 2005.
The Spanish government’s main aim for many
years has been to eliminate the so-called tariff
deficit, or difference that has developed over
many years been the production costs of
electricity and the price end consumers pay.18
been retained. They include practically all
households and even small businesses. The
regulated price has hitherto been laid down by
the government at a rate that is slightly below
the cost of production. In the final analysis the
state foots the bill for the difference by vouching
for the energy producers’ losses. These
guarantees increase Spain’s national debt.
A July 2013 energy reform aimed at reducing the
tariff deficit also scrapped quite radically, and
above all retroactively, the previous, in part
absurdly high feed-in payments for renewables.
In Spain the subsidies for renewables are added
to the regulated electricity price and thus passed
on to the consumer.
To keep the regulated price under control and
prevent further unpopular electricity price rises
(and to contain further growth of the tariff
deficit), the feed-in tariffs for renewables were
reduced, yet new investments can still achieve a
return of about seven per cent.
In spite of numerous reforms the tariff deficit is
increasing by about €4 billion a year and now
amounts to more than €28 billion. Officially the
Spanish energy market has been deregulated,
but a regulated price for small consumers has
European Environment Agency: Trends and
Projections in Europe 2013. Tracking progress towards
Europe's climate and energy targets until 2020, EEA
Report Nr. 10/2013, S. 12.
18 Couture, Toby D.: FITs and Stops: Spain’s New
Renewable Energy Plot Twist & What It All Means,
That, however, is much less than previous
investors had counted on. In 2007/08 they had
accepted the high land and manufacturing prices
charged at the time in view of the enormous
return on investment promised back then. This
retroactive reduction of the feed-in tariff, the
unpredictable and erratic energy policy and
Spain’s surplus capacities are likely to deter
investors from building new renewable energy
facilities for a while even though conditions for
wind and sun are naturally good in the country.
Spain is of necessity, like Italy, redirecting the
focus of its energy policy from the quality of
energy production and security of supply to costefficiency.
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
The energy revolution is viewed critically in Spain
only on account of the high price of electricity
and is otherwise generally accepted. But there
are no plans to abandon atomic energy either.
People who live near nuclear power stations do
not protest, but the operators of nuclear power
stations are hard hit by the high taxes imposed
on atomic energy (along with other sources of
energy that may lack variable costs but do earn
windfall profits) in the course of the last energy
reform in mid-2013. Garoña nuclear power
station was shut down because the operator said
it was no longer profitable – even though the
government had renewed its permit.
There are, of course, objections to rising costs,
but not as a counter-current to the energy
revolution. In spite of state price regulation
Spanish electricity prices are already among the
highest in Europe because, as in Germany, the
subsidies for renewables are financed via the
electricity price. What is more, electricity
providers have no great incentive to be efficient
because the state also subsidises the tariffs for
small customers.
Prices are set to rise again as a result of the cuts
in subsidies, with utilities now being able to
charge consumers higher prices for the next 15
years in order to reduce their debts. But in the
present crisis many people are finding it hard to
pay their higher electricity bills.
Overview of individual results by
Performance Dynamics
Overall result in the
performance and dynamics rankings
household sector and a Top 5 place for all
indicators. In respect of security of supply,
progress in developing renewables capacities
have a positive impact.
Hungary comes no better than 20th in the
performance ranking, but that is still ahead of its
former socialist brother country Poland. Yet in
the dynamics ranking it comes in an outstanding
third place. This excellent showing may in part be
due to the base effect. The 17-place difference
between the two rankings is greater than for any
other country analysed.
Security of supply,
supply ,
In the dynamics rankings the visible progress in
security of supply is due first and foremost to the
base effect. In the performance rankings only
South Korea is positioned even worse than
Hungary. And in cost efficiency Hungary’s
showing is better than that of only two countries.
In the dynamics rankings Hungary falls behind in
the corporate sector due to the poor
development of CO2 and energy intensity in the
service industries.
Performance Transport
Households, security of supply
It is hardly surprising that Hungary has only one
real strong point in the performance rankings –
the transport sector. The country scores points
for a well-developed railway network with a high
proportion of electricity in its energy
In the dynamics rankings Hungary excels with the
most progress of all countries analysed in the
As in Poland, the structure of electricity
generation has remained almost unchanged since
the fall of socialism. But while Poland has
hitherto relied on domestic coal, Hungary relies
on the more climate-friendly nuclear power
option. In 1990, 48% of Hungary’s electricity was
generated at nuclear power stations; in 2012 the
figure was still nearly 46%.
Hungary is also relying on atomic energy
expansion to help it achieve its EU climate
targets. By 2020 it aims to reduce its CO2
emissions by a further 10% in relation to its 2005
figures, having overfulfilled its Kyoto Protocol
commitments by 2012. These targets, however,
were based on its emissions in 1985/87 before
the collapse of socialism.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
classifies Paks as a safe nuclear power station.
Hungary’s energy supplies are otherwise based
on a wide energy mix that rules out no source of
energy. Yet renewables are not high on the
agenda of Hungarian politicians. They account
for nearly 10% of consumption, due mainly to a
large number of biomass power stations, but
plans for further developments are vague. The
government has given an assurance that it will
develop renewables by 2020 in accordance with
its EU commitments. They are then to account
for 20% of electricity consumption, but exactly
how this is to be accomplished is still an open
Meanwhile, the promotion of renewables in
Hungary is on the back burner. Biogas and solar
panels suffer from unfavourable feed-in tariffs.
The currently available subsidies meet only a
fraction of the demand. A number of larger
heating projects based on geothermal heat and
biomass have been undertaken of late. New EU
funding may be available, but the best option is
likely to be local facilities to cater for local
Back in 2009 the Hungarian parliament gave the
go-ahead by over 80% of the votes cast for an
expansion of Hungary’s only nuclear power
station Paks. Two new reactor blocks were to be
added, each with a capacity of up to 1,000
megawatts, at an estimated cost amounting to
the equivalent of €10 billion.
The Paks nuclear power station came on stream
with a total capacity of 2,000 megawatts in 1983.
It runs on four Soviet-type pressurised water
reactors. Unlike other nuclear power stations in
eastern Europe, such as Kozloduj in Bulgaria, the
Investment in renewables for generating
electricity in Hungary is at present still subsidised
by means of the old KÁT system of feed-in
tariffs. A new system, Metár, is expected to
increase subsidies substantially, but its
introduction has been delayed for over a year –
probably because of the higher costs that the
new system will incur.
Szlavik, Janos/ Csete, Maria: Climate and Energy
Policy in Hungary, in: Energies 2012, Nr. 5, S. 494-517.
Along with a 10% reduction in the price of
domestic electricity in the regulated market at
the beginning of 2013, private households were
exempted from paying the levy for higher feed-in
tariffs for green electricity. The levy is now
imposed solely on companies, which must source
their electricity in the deregulated market. The
feed-in tariffs have not changed. They amount on
average to around 32 forints (about €0.10) per
The Handelsblatt correspondent’s assessment
Hungarians tend to take a positive view of atomic
energy. In opinion polls a majority of respondents
is usually in favour of retaining the Paks nuclear
power station.
This sentiment changed briefly in spring 2011
after the Fukushima disaster. In a September 2011
poll a majority of Hungarian respondents
favoured abandoning atomic energy in the
medium term. Yet most of the respondents also
felt that Paks was still a safe nuclear power
Most Hungarians have no doubts about the
technology. There is no significant anti-nuclear
movement in the country to this day. Not even
the unresolved problem of final storage has
triggered any debate in Hungarian society.
Even the Energy Club, Hungary’s best-known
NGO, calls for a rethink on energy policy but not
for atomic energy to be abandoned. Its aim is a
sustainable energy system that uses more
renewables and new technologies to boost
energy efficiency in buildings.
Over view of individual results by
Performance Dynamics