once a world leader renewables Germany will miss all its environmental goals unless the next government realigns his energy policies after introducing feed-in tariffs for renewable energy in 2000 gemiini became the global leader in wind and solar technologies there was a steep learning curve but manufacturer’s generators and installers gained the experience and drove down the costs of clean energy generation by more than 50% in 2010 .
the German government:
built on its success by implementing a bold package of legislation designs support its low-carbon transition its ambitious policies sought to shift the nation from fossil fuels to renewable power sources to make buildings and transport more energy efficient and to boost energy related research and development by 2050 the intention was for carbon dioxide emissions to be 95 percent lower than they were in 1990 for renewables too bright 80% electricity and for energy consumption overall be 50 percent more efficient than in 2010 unfortunately progress has stalled the milestones for 2020 are already out of reach poor policy choices and lobbying by the fossil fuels industry means that Germany will not reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by the 40% hopes by 2020 and so will fail to meet its goals under the Paris climate agreement at the end of September Germany elected a new government rebooting his energy policies must be one of its top priorities and there’s still time to meet there’s 2050 goals but only just looking at
Germany’s energy mix cold continues:
to dominate it’s cheap in part because the impacts of co2 emissions are not factored into its price its use therefore has barely dipped because the market favors it coal provides an almost 40 percent of the country’s electricity despite falling profits from coal plants look even on windy days coal is burnt and the excess wind power is squandered as a result Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2016 and even higher in 2017 furthermore an ill-advised switch in 2016 from feed-in tariffs to a tendering system for renewable energy provision backfired competition between companies felt in no small part because small firms and energy cooperatives could not compete with the price offered by larger competitors there is also no coherent plan in place for sustainable transport the recent diesel vehicle emissions scandal has been generally swept under the carpet and Germany’s goal to have 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2020 will clearly be missed today there are just 34,000 electric vehicles on Germany streets and projects and suggest this will rise to 50,000 by 2020 the government subsidy of 4000 euros or four thousand seven hundred dollars per vehicle is wasted without a wider strategy to encourage people to travel less to switch to cleaner form the transport and no efforts are being made in this area three priorities can help
the German government to restore its engery detract first it should phase out coal ideally by 2030:
this will require deadlines and inducements and they must also include an effective pricing a carbon energy taxes and charges must also be reformed across all sectors for example a policy to increase the share of renewable energy for transportation and heating ship encouraged and feeder tariffs should be brought back to revive the flagging renewables market secondly the government should devise a coherent strategy for improving the energy efficiency of buildings and Transport regulation and financial support would encourage the retrofitting of more buildings and the sustainable transport strategy including a quota for electric vehicles would encourage people to avoid unnecessary journeys and promote more climate-friendly Motor Transport thirdly there should be more government investment in technology innovations doubling the energy R&D; budget would be a good start and the returns would be substantial anji researchers should focus on two key areas the first managing aims apply and demand across smart energy grids and the second has to be energy storage so that we can better manage a system in few with renewable generation the new German government would be foolish to squander Germany’s leadership in a low-carbon future it must take the opportunity to once again make Germany a shining example for other countries to follow