Nuclear Politics

Germany / Government Could ‘Significantly Miss’ Renewables Target, Says Analysis

By David Dalton
9 January 2020

Government Could ‘Significantly Miss’ Renewables Target, Says Analysis
The Philippsburg-2 nuclear plant was shut down last month as part of the energy transition. Photo courtesy EnBW.
Germany could “significantly” miss its target of covering 65% of gross electricity consumption with renewables by 2030, analysis from the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) at the University of Cologne shows.

The EWI calculated that gross electricity consumption could rise to 748 TWh a year by 2030. At the same time, electricity generation from renewables would rise to 345 TWh.

The share of renewable energy would be only 46%, 19% lower than the 65% target laid out in the country’s energy transition or energiewende, policy.

“Whether Germany achieves the 65% target for 2030 depends above all on two key variables,” the EWI said. “First, the future development of electricity demand plays a central role. Secondly, the expansion of renewable energies, in particular wind energy and photovoltaics, will be crucial.”

Environmental think tank Agora Energiewende warned in a recent report that a slowdown in the installation of wind turbines and solar panels in Germany could put the country’s carbon reduction targets at risk.

Agora Energiewende said that last year new onshore wind power capacity in Germany reached 700 MW, the lowest level in two decades, while in 2020 only another 1 GW might be built.

Agora Energiewende director Patrick Graichen said “We need to build more renewables to offset the phaseout of nuclear power up to 2022 and also generate enough electricity for electric vehicles and heat pumps.”

Germany’s last commercial nuclear plants are due to be shut by the end of 2022, leaving the country struggling to plug the gap in its electricity generation and meet its climate targets as it prepares to abolish its coal industry.

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