Abstract for: Can Germany Move Towards 100% Renewable Electricity Without Major Problems?

Germany has as the ambition to move towards an electricity system that is 100% renewable. A well-known complication is variability in renewable solar and wind power that does not match the variability in the underlying electricity demand. A simulation model with a time step of one hour is used to explain historical variations in electricity price and in electricity production from nuclear and fossil energy, given observed variations in renewable electricity. The same model is used to find optimal capacities in future years for all producers of electricity under different assumptions about technological development, underlying demand developments, and CO2 taxes. The results show that hourly price variations increase within reasonable limits as the amount of renewable electricity increases. This leads to a market for increased demand flexibility and various types of storage. The role of natural gas as a transition source of electricity diminishes over time for economic reasons, with and without CO2 taxes