Renewable Energy Policy in Germany

Topic: Government
Words: 1184 Pages: 4

Introduction

I will present on Germany’s renewable energy policy promotion. To promote renewables, the German government offers feed-in tariffs for solar, wind, and renewable hydroelectric energies to incentivize investment in these renewable energy sources. These tariffs guarantee a certain price per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, giving investors a stable return on investment. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), enacted in 2000, guarantees priority for renewable energy sources in the electricity mix.

Renewable Energy Sources in Germany

The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) in Germany is a law that requires energy companies to buy electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind at a fixed price. The act was passed in 2000 with the goal of increasing the use of renewable energy sources and aiding Germany to become a leader in renewable energy. This has helped Germany become a global leader in renewable energy, with over 25% of its electricity coming from renewables (Gielen et al., 2015). It has similarly assisted in creating thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector and has led to a decrease in the cost of renewables.

Germany has a strong commitment to expanding renewable energy sources. The country aims to get at least 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2050 (Gielen et al., 2015). The country is a world leader in offshore wind power and has huge potential for solar power, biomass, and geothermal energy. Solar power is becoming increasingly popular in Germany, with the country now having the most installed capacity of any nation in Europe. Another crucial scope of renewable energy development in Germany is offshore wind power; in recent years, it has been among Germany’s rapidly growing renewable energy sources. By the end of 2018, there were over five gigawatts (GW) of installed offshore wind capacity in German waters, enough to power a million homes, which is expected to increase (Gielen et al., 2015). Offshore wind power reduces the dependence on fossil fuels, which are known for causing global warming.

Conversely, there is also hydroelectric as a source of renewable energy. Germany has several hydroelectric power plants, which account for a significant amount of the country’s renewable energy. Similarly, hydroelectricity is Germany’s largest source of renewable energy (Gielen et al., 2015). There are several reasons why Germany has turned to hydroelectricity as a source of renewable energy. First, hydroelectricity is a reliable and consistent form of energy. Second, it is a clean and sustainable form of energy that does not produce greenhouse gases or other pollutants. Finally, hydroelectricity is a relatively affordable form of energy.

Germany’s Reasons for Formulating Renewable Energy Sources

There are several reasons why Germany formulated the renewable sources promotion policy. Germany formulated the policy of renewable sources promotion to decrease its dependency on other forms of energy and reduce its carbon footprint. The country has seen great success with this policy, with renewables now supplying around one-third of the nation’s electricity (Gielen et al., 2015). One key factor in Germany’s promotion of renewables has been its generous subsidies. These subsidies have helped to make renewables more economically competitive and have resulted in a large increase in renewable installations.

Benefits of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany

Germany speculated several benefits related to adopting renewable energy sources. As of 2016, renewables such as solar, wind, and hydroelectricity provided a relatively huge percentage of Germany’s electricity (Gielen et al., 2015). And this percentage is only increasing as the country works to phase out nuclear power and decrease its dependency on other forms of energy. Though renewables have come with some challenges (the intermittent nature of solar and wind), their overall advantages have made them an increasingly attractive option for Germany.

The main benefit of renewable energy sources in Germany is the reduction of the country’s carbon footprint. Germany’s renewable energy sector is developing, and the country is now a global leader in renewables. Renewables are emissions-free, so their growth has helped Germany reduce emissions by 23.8% since 1990 (Gielen et al., 2015). This puts Germany on track to meet its climate targets for 2020 and 2030. Renewables have also helped Germany keep a lid on electricity prices. Prices have actually decreased slightly over the past decade, even as renewables have grown rapidly.

The renewable energy sector in Germany has similarly created employment opportunities in a number of areas. Solar energy, hydropower, wind, and biomass are all areas where workers are needed to develop and maintain the infrastructure. In addition, there are many other ancillary industries that have sprung up around the renewable energy sector, such as manufacturing and installation businesses (Gielen et al., 2015). The move towards renewables has been a major boost for employment in Germany.

Employment in Germany’s Renewable Energy Sector

Employment in Germany's Renewable Energy Sector

Biomass is the leading source of renewable energy in employment creation because it is more flexible and efficient than solar, hydropower, and wind. The number of employed individuals was found by working the average of the wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass for 2004, 2007, 2012, and 2013; the averages were 102 300, 64175, 30400, and 107550. It can be used to generate electricity, produce heat, and power transportation. Biomass is also a very efficient way to store energy.

Similarly, like many industrialized nations, Germany has committed to reducing its carbon footprint to prevent global warming. The major effect of global warming is increased temperatures; for example, higher temperatures can lead to changes in weather patterns, which can disrupt agricultural activities (Gielen et al., 2015). Heatwaves and droughts lead to the danger of food shortage, which decreases the availability of land for crops, leading to a decrease in food production and an increase in food prices. Due to these adverse impacts of global warming, the German government has been promoting the adoption of renewable sources of energy by introducing policies that reinforce it.

Germany’s Success with Renewable Energy Policy Introduction

The German government has succeeded in adopting renewable energy sources by introducing many incentives. For example, it has created funds to support the development of renewable energy technologies and has put in place a system of feed-in tariffs that guarantee a fixed price for electricity generated from renewable sources. In addition, the government has set ambitious targets for the growth of renewable energy, including a target of 20% renewables by 2020 (Gielen et al., 2015). Similarly, it succeeded in embracing renewable energy sources due to the large implementation of strict rules and regulations concerning environmental conservation. Renewable energy similarly helps to reduce pollution and protect natural resources, but it also provides considerable economic advantages; for example, investing in solar and wind power creates jobs.

Conclusion

In summary, global warming has been a threat to various economic sectors in every part of the world, including Germany. Every nation is doing its best to mitigate the effects of global warming in different ways. Germany introduced a policy that enhanced renewable sources adoption through Renewable Energy Sources Act. The common sources of renewable sources of energy include hydroelectricity, solar, and wind. Germany has succeeded with this policy by issuing incentives such as feed-in tariffs, which guarantee a fixed price for energy produced from renewable sources.

Reference

Gielen, D., Saygin, D., & Wagner, N. (2015). Renewable energy prospects: Germany, REmap 2030 analysis. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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