Germany added 2.3 GW of new onshore wind capacity in the first half of 2017. Though it failed to meet the target last year, the Renewable Energy Act set annual target of installing 2.5 GW new solar capacity. Add in a warm autumn and the winter storms Xavier and Herwart, and it is easy to see how renewables supplied 44.1 per cent of Germany’s energy in October.
Germany led the world for the number of solar installations during 2012. This relatively small European nation added 7.60 GW of capacity to the grid. Then their numbers started going downward: 3.30 GW of new solar capacity in 2013; 1.56 GW in 2014; 1.4 GW in 2015. As of October 31, only 0.79 GW of new capacity has been added this year. Germany’s critics are once again hailing the imminent demise of this nation’s renewable revolution. What happened to Energiewende?
I finally met Thomas Grigoleit last week. The Director of Energy and Environmental Technology for Germany’s economic development agency (Germany Trade and Invest) peddled up to the restaurant where we were waiting. He had left the office for the day and, folding his suit into a rucksack, set off on his bicycle to meet the North American journalists. This was probably going to be my best opportunity for questioning Thomas Grigoleit about Energiewende.
In the nine months to September 2014, the renewable sector had replaced lignite as the main source of the nation’s power. They supplied 27.7% of Germany’s electricity demand, as opposed to 26.3%. By the end of the year, the offshore wind sector broke through the 1 GW barrier. Another 1.3 GW was waiting to be connected, which makes it virtually certain there will be 3 GW by the end of this year. Is Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association, right? Will 2015 be the year of the Energiewende?
The ECOreport Part Three of the Five Most Attractive Nations for Renewable Investments, Energiewende Will Succeed
Bye Roy L Hales
American critics of Energiewende regularly announce its approaching demise. A hypocritical article in the Wallstreet Journal announced that Germany will spend €1 trillion on its’ renewable energy experiment by 2040, without mentioning that a large portion of that money was for electric grid upgrades that would be needed anyway. Nor did the author disclose the fact an even larger sum (€90 billion a year) would have gone to fossil fuels. Similarly, Forbesmocked Germany’s slight rise in CO2 levels, without mentioning they are already 23% lower than the 1990 benchmark set by the Kyoto Accord. (The author’s country, the US, is still 5% above that target.) Their carping does not explain how Germany became Europe’s powerhouse and the fourth largest economy in the World. Nor does it do justice to the nation the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) ranks #3for renewable investments. Energiewende will succeed because it is embraced by the German people.