Germany struggles to live up to climate ambitions

It will be a major challenge for Germany to increase its wind and solar sector, so the country can live up to its climate ambitions.

Germany has an ambition, that 65 % of the country’s energy mix in 2030 is to be covered by renewables, but it is going to be hard for the Germans to live up to these expectations. This despite several years, where both the government and a special coal commission have worked on finding the most realistic ways for the country to switch to renewables.

If the country is to fulfill the ambition, it has to add a minimum of 8 GW sun and onshore wind capacity per year, but last year, the Germans only managed to add 5,4 GW. This according to the country’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which meanwhile states that the 65 % renewable energy is crucial if the country should be able to live up to lover the carbon emission level by as much as hoped.

According to plan, the German energy sector should have lowered their carbon emission level by 61 % in 2030 compared to the 1990-level. Last year, the sector emitted 299 million tons, which is only 36 % lower than in 1990. According to the UBA, it is first and foremost a slowdown in the buildup of onshore wind mills, which is the reason that the country has fallen behind schedule. Due to a lack of land areas where the wind mills can be build, this problem could like continue for the coming years as well.

If Germany fails to build up the wind sector as much as hoped, the country will only have one other option, to increase the share of renewables in the power mix. That is to close more coal power plants than originally planned. This would threaten the country’s security of supply, and is therefore not an optimal solution either.