Germany will be fully developing renewable energy. The new joint government has declared its target of accelerating the expansion of renewable energy and withdrawing from coal-firing, and it aims to elevate the ratio of power generation through renewable energy to 80% by 2030, as well as move up the decarbonization schedule by 8 years to 2030.
The energy policy proposed by the new joint government of Germany which is about to take office is based on an electricity demand that is expected to increase to 680-750TWh each year by 2030. It aims to elevate the ratio of power generation through renewable energy from 65% to 80% by 2030. Renewable energy occupied 40% of Germany’s total energy structure in 2020, and an increase to 80% would first require an expansion in the capacity of offshore wind power, with a minimum installation of 30GW offshore wind power installed capacity by 2030, before another increase to 40GW by 2035, and finally arriving at 70GW by 2045 when the country aims to achieve carbon neutrality. The German government also commented that at least 2% of the land area will be used to develop wind power plants, while all adequate rooftop areas would be utilized in the installation of 200GW of solar panels by 2030.
Apart from adhering to an open minded approach towards all technology aside from nuclear energy, Germany has also promised to reduce all unnecessary procedures for the new climate protection scheme next year in order to expedite the expansion of renewable energy. The German government has also stipulated a more aggressive carbon emission pricing by ensuring a price level no less than EU€60/ton, and urged carbon transactions to expand to heating and transportation suppliers so as to encourage rapid withdrawal from fossil fuels for the industry and provide additional support on adopting hydrogen as the replacement.
Germany currently depends on the fast expansion of renewable energy plants and the new batch of natural gas generators to replenish insufficient power generation. Market analysis suggests that the country’s exit from nuclear energy in 2022 and the on-going elimination of coal-firing are only going to amplify its dependence on natural gas. Germany initially planned to eliminate natural gas by 2040, which has now been postponed to 2045. Market analysis also suggests that a comprehensive replacement of dispatchable natural gas power generation would be challenging.
In order to help out consumers who are paying exorbitant energy bills, the new government also decided to cancel the energy surcharge that has been used to support energy growth for many years, which would be paid for by the national budget starting from 2023 without a single dime taken from consumers. The fund used to support renewable energy then will all come from carbon emission licenses. The new administration of Germany’s government expects the futures prices of EU carbon emission licenses to climb to a record-breaking EU€73.18 after the corresponding announcement.
However, according to the coverage of Bloomberg, Germany has invested more than EU€500 billion in energy transformation since the 21st century, though coal-firing is still providing nearly 1/4 of the country’s electricity, which is the polar opposite of its international climate obligations. Despite planning to simultaneously cancel coal-firing and nuclear power generation, Germany lacks power generation strategies for solar and wind power, which imposes a prominent ordeal in terms of the implementation for energy transformation in the foreseeable future.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/Michael Mueller CC By 2.0)