Germany Brings Forward Goal of 100% Renewable Power to 2035

Germany Brings Forward Goal of 100% Renewable Energy to 2035

Germany plans to rapidly accelerate the expansion of wind and solar power, bringing forward a target to generate almost all the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 15 years to 2035. 

The Economy Ministry, which also oversees energy and climate policy, proposed new legislation on Monday that aims to roughly triple the annual additions from onshore wind and solar facilities. Offshore wind capacity is set to more than double.

Germany is launching a series of measures to diversify its energy sources away from Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany relies on Russia for more than half its natural gas, and a decision to phase out nuclear power -- the last three reactors are set to go offline this year -- has left Europe’s largest economy vulnerable to disruption.

To avoid a short-term energy crunch in the future, the ministry also proposed measures that would force operators to maintain minimum levels in gas storage facilities. 

The ministry called out Russia’s Gazprom PJSC as having especially low reserves in Germany this winter, when households were hit by soaring heating costs. More than 30% of Germany’s gas reservoirs are controlled by the Russian gas giant. 

Germany Brings Forward Goal of 100% Renewable Power to 2035

To bridge the gap until there’s sufficient renewable power capacity, Germany is also getting ready to prolong the use of coal beyond 2030. To create alternatives to Russian gas, Germany is seeking to revive plans to build liquefied natural gas terminals.

In the renewable-energy legislation, onshore wind capacity is set to increase from 3 gigawatts this year to 10 gigawatts annually in 2027. Solar expansion will go from 7 gigawatts to 20 gigawatts a year in 2028.

Offshore wind facilities are also a key part of the plan. The country foresees capacity rising from 30 gigawatts in 2030 to 70 gigawatts in 2045.

Amid an ongoing energy squeeze, a levy to finance the expansion of renewables will be scrapped at the beginning of July as part of the government’s efforts to ease the burden of higher prices on consumers.

The proposed law on a new national gas reserve will require owners of storage facilities to have them 65% filled by August, 80% filled by October, and 90% filled by December.

“This is especially necessary against the background of Russia’s delivery behavior, which has not been reliable,” the government said in the document. “The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has increased the urgency.” 

The laws are still drafts, and details could change before they go into force.

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