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Published on July 20th, 2012 | by Thomas Gerke


Original Video: Renewable Energy in Germany 2012

July 20th, 2012 by  

Sometime ago, I was asked in a comment how common photovoltaic systems are in Germany today. So, I thought I would make a little video to answer that question once more. Some of the clips were recorded in April, but most of them just a few days ago.

Since the year 2000, Germany has developed from a pro-renewable energy country into a renewable energy powerhouse aiming for a complete transformation of its energy system.

In Germany, most of the renewable energy capacity is owned by individuals or community power projects. In this grassroots energy revolution, millions of households, villages, and even entire regions have already declared their partial or total energy independence by becoming independent power producers. This is driven by the concept of energy autonomy, of not being dependent on multinational corporations or energy sources that destroy the world that future generations have to live in. It was made possible by policy frameworks that enabled and encouraged people to invest in renewable energy sources and enforced market access by removing obstacles that prevent renewable energy projects around the world to this very day.

This video tries to show how this bottom-up push toward a 100% renewable energy system looks. Enjoy the video!

Renewable Energy in Germany 2012!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkYv3xQ2W3I&w=500&h=280]

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About the Author

is a close observer of the scientific, political and economic energy debate in Germany and around the globe. Inspired by the life’s work of the renewable energy advocate Hermann Scheer, Thomas focuses on spreading information that showcase the possibilities & opportunities of a 100% renewable energy system.

Though technology is key for this energy shift, he also looks at the socio-economic benefits and the political, as well as structural barriers.

  • Amazing vid by the way!

  • I am from the Netherlands and I wish we had such a pro-renewable energy government.

    • I’m in love with the NL (lived in Groningen for 5 months), and wish the same. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Lucky you! Groningen is the Walhalla for energy fanatics! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • haha. ๐Ÿ˜€

          i was actually doing my master’s thesis on bicycling & bicycling facilities. believe me, i was drooling there. ๐Ÿ˜€

          also got to visit Holland a bit, and my focus city was Delft, also totally wonderful. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Dimitar Mirchev

    This being watched I can clearly see how Germany can have at least 100 GWp roof(!!!) ย photovoltaics.

  • Chris

    I can attest to this video as the “real thing’ having lived in Germany for the last 10 years. If every country duplicated Germany’s efforts, energy issues would most likely disappear.

    • ThomasGerke


      I took most of the shots walking randomly through my neighbourhood or looking out of a train window. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

      If people in every country would dublicate the efforts, the sollutions and course of action would at least be as obvious to everyone as it seems to be the case in Germany.ย Since most countries around the globe have way better renewable energy ressources than Germany, the conditions for the economy, society, enviroment & climate would be alot better already aswell.ย 

      The US would have at least 110 GW of Windpower and 100 GW of solar power aswell as 30 GWelectic from biomass. Ah well :)But things are moving everywhere… sometimes faster, sometimes slower… but they are moving ๐Ÿ˜‰ย In general things move very fast in the renewable energy paradigm, so the world might look very different 5-10 years from now.

    • as someone leaving next door (to Germany), i can say that it looks like almost “anyplace Germany” to me. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Luke

    Fantastic video Thomas… very well put together, and what a way to answer a question! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Good luck to Germany… 100% renewable is probably only a decade or two away.

    • ThomasGerke

      Thanks. I am happy that you enjoyed the “video reply” ๐Ÿ˜‰

      100% Renewable is a long way down the road on a nation level… but today it can be done very fast on an individual level.ย 

      It’s hard to tell how long it will take, but I bet it will be alot sooner than most “experts” and people on the street estimate. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      20 to 30 years sounds realistic to me. There are alot of chaineffects that will kick in soon.ย 
      Solar+Storage will hit grid parity in 3-5 years here in Germany…. then solar will no longer be about doing something good and making some additional income. Not using solar will mean wasting money.
      People and businesses need to know this possibility exists and when they tap into it that will create a whole new dynamic in my opinion.Then the technological renewable energy revolution will turn into a socio-ecconomic change that will turn things upside down. :D(my optimism speaking)ย 

      • Bob_Wallace

        What numbers are you using for ‘solar+storage’? What’s the basis for hitting retail grid parity in that time frame?

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