The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its latest in-depth review of German energy policies today, welcoming the country’s bold approach to its clean energy transition.
Since the last IEA review of German energy policies, the Energiewende, German for ‘energy transition,’ has been the defining feature of the country’s energy landscape. It is an impressive plan for transforming the country’s energy system to a more efficient one supplied mainly by renewable energy.
It aims to phase out electricity generation from nuclear power by the end of 2022. More recently, the government announced plans for a phase-out of coal by the end of 2038.
Germany’s national climate change strategy is defined in the Climate Action Plan 2050, which sets out a longer-term pathway for sector-specific emissions reductions, as part of the Energiewende.
Compared with the base year of 1990, the key goals are to achieve at least a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 80 - 95% by 2050. Germany has made notable progress in cutting its emissions. In 2019, it had the largest decline in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions of any EU country, according to IEA data released last week.
“The Energiewende has been successful in electricity generation, where it has been effective at substantially increasing the share of renewable electricity supply. To further support the role of renewables, the government will need to ensure a transmission grid expansion and promote the development of hydrogen technology,” said the IEA’s Executive Director, Fatih Birol, who launched the report in Berlin with Peter Altmaier, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.
However, given the requirement for additional renewable capacity, the IEA review highlights the need for Germany to ensure a continued strong investment environment for wind generation, including to address recent social acceptance and permitting issues impacting the onshore wind sector, as well as repowering ageing wind facilities.
In addition, the review urges the government to facilitate the smooth system integration of renewables, in particular through a buildout of much needed additional transmission capacity to carry wind resources from the north to the south.
Despite the extraordinary progress in renewable electricity, the report notes that the nuclear phase-out as well as higher electricity exports have offset some of the emissions benefits. Still, the government’s planned coal phase-out could help the country remain on track to achieving its longer-term emissions targets in the electricity sector.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/19022020/iea-energy-policy-review-commends-germanys-leadership-on-the-energy-transition/