While the French socialist party is targeting Germany for being too selfish, I thought it would be the ideal time to show how this country has understood vital lessons on renewables others didn’t.
For years if not decades, Deutschland has been at the forefront on energy efficiency and renewables. I wrote many articles here on how the country is leading on these crucial economic sectors.
It doubled the share of renewables in its electricity mix in only seven years. They now account for over 22 percent of the total. Solar PV accounts for a quarter of that.
Germany is still leading the world in terms of solar photovoltaic capacity with over 32 GW. This is almost a third of the global capacity. Since EU Countries could pay back their debts with renewables, it’s perhaps time for other EU nations to follow the German lead.
Regarding wind power, the country is equally strong. Between 2011 and 2012, the installed capacity reached 30 GW. There were over 22,000 wind turbines installed all over Germany as of 2011. They contributed to a little less than ten percent of the net electricity consumption.
On other renewables, the case is equally compelling. As Wikipedia noted, in 2012 : 21,000 GWh were produced by hydropower, nearly 36,000 GWh by biomass, to be compared with the 28,000 GWh by solar PV and 46,000 by wind power.
And this is only the beginning… As I noted last year :
” Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to spend 200 billion euros ($263 billion) developing an energy program that will create a series of offshore wind farms that will cover an area six times the size of New York City. “
” (…) Germany has a plan to boost its renewable energy production to 35% of the country’s energy consumption by 2020; and 80% by 2050. The administration has a set a target of producing 25 GW of offshore wind energy by 2020 “
In terms of employment, an important factor as Spain has reached horrendous levels with six million unemployed and France has broken its own records with 3.2 million people, over 380,000 people work in renewables in Germany and half a million of them are forecast by 2030.
To conclude : Germany is to date and for many years to come the example to be followed in terms of renewables. If only all major economies were acting as big on renewables as Germany…