MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - According to a new survey, many managers see skepticism in parts of the German population as an obstacle to the energy transition. According to the companies surveyed, the expansion of energy storage systems should have top priority this year in the restructuring of the energy supply, followed by grid connection and the phase-out of fossil fuels. This was announced on Wednesday by Munich-based Baywa r.e., a major project developer of green electricity power plants. In December, the company surveyed 2,500 managers from five economic sectors in Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Spain - 500 in each country and half from medium-sized companies and half from large companies.

The biggest obstacle to the energy transition was cited by 28 percent of managers working in Germany as a lack of support from the population, 27 percent complained of supply chain problems and 26 percent cited a lack of availability of renewable energies. In terms of the most urgent tasks, 22 percent named the expansion of energy storage capacities, and 21 percent each named grid connection and a move away from fossil fuels.

According to the survey, German managers are also more concerned about a negative attitude among the population than their colleagues in the four other nations: Internationally, the lack of availability of green energy topped the list of concerns, followed by bureaucratic hurdles.

The construction of large energy storage facilities, which was discussed in the survey, has become an issue due to the imbalance in the German electricity supply: As much more electricity is now consumed in southern Germany than is produced, the financial and technical effort required to stabilize the electricity grids has increased: in 2022, so-called "congestion management" cost over four billion euros, according to the Federal Network Agency.

Large-scale batteries are intended to store surplus green electricity and act as a short-term buffer to compensate for grid overloads. According to proponents, this would both save billions in costs and reduce the need for power generation in gas-fired power plants, which have so far been used to compensate for bottlenecks in the grid, especially in the south.

"We need battery storage in order to fully exploit the potential of renewable energy sources," said Julian Gerstner, Head of Storage Business at BayWa r.e. In December, the German government presented the key points of a "storage strategy". The Munich-based company plans and builds large solar parks, but is also active in energy trading and the storage business and therefore has a vested interest in the energy transition./cho/DP/zb