Bavarian Plan for Climate Neutrality 2040 – Energy Transition Now!


With Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and the goal of climate neutrality by 2045, the goals have been set at the national level. According to the government declaration by Minister President Dr. Markus Söder on July 21, 2021, Bavaria wants to become climate neutral as early as 2040.

Two fundamental questions arise for the implementation of this goal. First, it must be clarified what a climate-neutral Bavaria will look like in 2040 (target vision). Second, measures must be taken as quickly as possible to ensure that the transformation from today’s actual situation to the desired target vision in 2040 is successful.

On behalf of the Bavarian Energy and Water Association (VBEW), Forschungsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft (FfE) has quantified a suitable thought experiment.

Key results
A climate-neutral Bavaria in the year 2040 has, among other things,...
Key results
One week in Bavaria from 2022 to 2040


First, scenarios for a climate-neutral Bavaria were identified and evaluated as part of a meta-study analysis. For the further analysis, the SolidEU scenario of the FfE research project eXtremOS was selected, as it has the best data availability for the balance area Bavaria for further key figures beyond the expansion of renewable energies, such as storage demand or hydrogen consumption. The target vision from the year 2050 from this scenario was simplified for further consideration as a target vision for the year 2040.

For the 2040 target vision, necessary activities were quantified for eight fields of action:

  • Expansion of photovoltaics
  • Expansion of wind power
  • Installation of storage facilities
  • Expansion of substations
  • Installation of electrolysers
  • Energetic renovation of the building stock
  • Replacement of existing heat generators
  • Replacement of passenger cars running on fossil fuels

In order to illustrate the need for immediate action required to realize the target vision, it was assumed for the sake of simplicity that, starting in 2022, the same level of activity will take place in all years up to the target year 2040. For photovoltaics, a comparison of the expansion rate according to the target vision and the historical expansion can be seen in Figure 1. This expansion rate corresponds to about 4 to 5 times the average photovoltaic expansion of the last 20 years.

The annual expansion targets derived from this were broken down to weekly measures for the visualization of the task Bavaria has to master. For the above example, in each week between 2022 and 2040, Bavaria would thus have to:

Installation of 63 MW of photovoltaics: in one week, for example, ground-mounted PV would thus have to be installed on an area equivalent to 160 soccer fields and 1,000 typical residential rooftop installations would have to go into operation.

The complete results (currently only in German) are also published on the website “Klimaneutrales Bayern 2040″ by the VBEW.