Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution & Social License

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Originally published on the ECOreport

The newly released video from Germany Trade & Invest shows what a nation can achieve, if it has the collective will to adopt renewable energy. It could be called “Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution & Social License.”

Their electrical mix is already 27% renewable and Die Welt* reports that 92% of the respondents in a new poll approve of the transition to renewable energy. There are challenges, and close to 50% believe there is a need for revisions (access coverage in English), but research company TNS Emnid also found 92% in October 2014. 70% of the respondents to that poll said this transition was “Very or exceedingly important” and only 8% did not “know,” or said it was “less” or “not important.” In September 2013, TNS Emnid reported 93%. By way of contrast, a recently released survey found that 67% of the population favor the phasing out of coal. Germany’s Energiewende clearly has social license.

There are currently 1.5 million renewable “power plants” (wind, solar & biomass) in Germany. An investment of at least €35 billion is needed to meet the targets of reducing emissions 80%, and adopting an energy mix that is 80-95% renewable by 2050. (There are many more details in the video.)

“The next step is to integrate more intermittent renewables into the grid while maintaining grid stability. Grid expansion, smart grid and energy storage solutions are already being implemented. Progress is being made, for example, in short-term balancing with batteries and long-term storage via power to gas. This year, Germany is also working on redesigning the structure and mechanisms in its electricity market in order to adapt and prepare it for a dominance of renewables in the future. However, Germany’s transition to renewables involves more than just electricity and further progress needs to be made, for example, in the areas of heating (eg. through power-to-heat) and transportation (eg. through e-mobility). — Thomas Grigoleit, head of energy, environment, and resources at Germany Trade & Invest.

Though Germany faces challenges, it possesses the collective will and resources to overcome them. Whether it meets its nominal targets remains to be seen. Eventual success seems almost inevitable.

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Roy L Hales

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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