Energy policy in Germany has entered a new phase with nuclear power being permanently phased out. The old controversies are a thing of the past: there is a broad social and cross-party consensus concerning long-term political and energy goals. It is no longer a question of whether the energy system will be overhauled in favour of renewables, but how to go about doing this.
Germany has a great opportunity and a huge responsibility towards the rest of the world. The world’s fourth largest economy has embarked on a project to show that it is possible to build an energy system almost entirely on renewables.
|Share in power consumption||20.3%||>35%||>50%||>65%||>80%|
|Share in final energy use||12.3%||18%||30%||45%||60%|
Progress will be slow, but important milestones are being achieved. In 2014, renewables are showing clear signs of emerging as Germany’s most important energy source, according to Angora Engiewende. Specifically,
- Clean-energy sources met 27.7% of Germany’s power demand in the nine months through September, topping for the first time lignite coal, which generated 26.3%.
- Wind power and biomass accounted for 9.5% and 8.1% of power demand, respectively.
- Solar energy generated 6.8% through September 30. On June 20 alone, solar generated 24.2 GWh, as much power as 20 nuclear reactors.
Germany has announced plans to shut all reactors by 2022. By 2030, it targets >50% of all power dispatch to be met by renewable energy. Even more significantly, it expects renewables to achieve as much as 30% of final energy use by 2030, confirming that renewable energy is being managed to contribute to national energy demand beyond the power sector.