Germany aims to fulfil all its electricity needs with supplies from renewable sources by 2035, compared to its previous target to abandon fossil fuels “well before 2040,” according to reports.
Europe’s leading economy has been under pressure from other Western nations to become less dependent on Russian gas, but its plans to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030 and to shut its nuclear power plants by end-2022 have considerably reduced its room for manoeuvre.
Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck has described the accelerated capacity expansion for renewable energy as a key element in making the country less dependent on Russian fossil fuel supplies.
An amendment to the country’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is apparently nearly ready which proposes that the country’s share of wind or solar power should reach 80% by 2030.
By then, Germany’s onshore wind energy capacity should double to up to 110 gigawatts (GW), offshore wind energy should reach 30 GW – arithmetically the capacity of 10 nuclear plants – and solar energy would more than triple to 200 GW, the proposal suggest,
The renewables acceleration revelation comes after Chancellor Chancellor Olaf Scholz said over the weekend that Germany will deliver on plans to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and increase its natural gas reserves to cut its dependence on Russian imports after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We will do more to ensure secure energy supply for our country,” he said as part of a special Bundestag session called to address the Ukraine crisis.
“We must change course to overcome our dependence on imports from individual energy suppliers.”
Germany has been under pressure from other Western nations to become less dependent on Russian gas, but its plans to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030 and to shut its nuclear power plants have meant that it is currently in a difficult position.
Last week Germany halted the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project, Europe’s most divisive energy project, in response to Russia’s actions toward Ukraine.
Nord Stream 2 is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia straight to Germany, bypassing traditional transit nation Ukraine, on the bed of the Baltic Sea.
Russia currently supplies around 40% of Europe’s gas.