home Civil society, Renewable Energy Germany: Coal vs. Renewables

Germany: Coal vs. Renewables

We cannot talk energy without constantly looking to the world’s leading economies and trying to understand their course of action. In this case, Germany represents Europe’s largest and most performing economy, an economy that has set out to switch to renewable energy in the near future.

For the first time, renewable sources of energy overtook coal as the leading national source of energy. All in all, all these renewables account for just over 40% of the total production of electricity.

This is part of Germany’s greater plan of switching to renewables so that 65% of its energy by 2030 will be ensured by these resources. Undoubtedly, this has been and will still be a costly transition, with a great impact on fossil fuels producers and distributors. The state has promised to abandon nuclear energy altogether by 2022 and is currently making up plans for a quitting the coal business in the long run.

The country has had a remarkable rise in renewable energy use in the last decade. Most importantly, it is crucial to notice how an active civil society and small-scale renewable energy projects started to grow and have ultimately managed to influence and determine state interests and actions. Solar panels started to be used in small villages, the society became more and more aware of the potential of renewables, further projects developed throughout the country and it seems like the state took note of that.

Out of Germany’s power production in 2010, only 19% was represented by green energy. This number has impressively risen to 38% in 2017 and further, to almost 42% only a year later. Regional research has shown that the output of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation units rose almost 5% last year.

The national goal is, for now, not falling back under 40%, but this seems to be an achievable aim, as more renewable installations are being built in 2019 and weather patterns will not generate drastic changes.

The skeptics of green power argue that this output is solely the result of favorable weather patterns. However, it is apparent that the increases are secure and could not have come about by accident. Most importantly, it is obvious how a process of promoting renewable energy that started from the bottom, engaging the German civil society and small local or regional projects has truly turned into a national, governmental priority. This course of action could represent a model, for Europe and beyond.

For a more in-depth understanding of the country’s power shift, we recommend this comprehensive video: 

Source: Reuters, CleanTechnica, RenewEconomy

Photo: RenewEconomy, CookingIdeas, CarbonBrief

Video: YouTube

Leave a Reply