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Germany leads the way into a renewable energy future – again

Earlier this year, Germany managed to get almost two-thirds of the nation’s energy supply from renewable sources.

According to data by German think-tank Agora Energiewende, Germany saw an average 64 per cent of electricity consumed coming from renewable sources.

That share rose to 85 per cent at 2 pm, and was at over 75 per cent between 10 am and 6 pm. Solar plants provided the most amount of energy, followed by wind farms.

graph of energy sources and production

The weekend of clean energy also proved to be a milestone in “recent history”, as the least amount of coal was burned and nuclear power plants reduced their output by up to 40 per cent. A situation which Dr Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende, says will be the norm by 2030.

Germany is leading the way in renewable energy thanks to its government’s policy of Energiewende (energy transition). In recent years, this policy has seen 1.5 billion euros a year pumped into clean-energy research, with the end aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 1990 levels and slashing them by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

This comes as the country is on its way to ending all nuclear power by 2022. This nuclear phase-out inspired Switzerland, which is aiming to have all their plants closed by 2034.

aerial view of german power plant

While many people have been wary of renewable energy because of the costs involved in setting up wind farms and solar panels, as well as the investments needed in further research, in the long run the money spent to set up these sources will be made up, as energy itself will be cheaper.

This was seen in Germany on Easter Sunday, as for several hours the energy produced was accompanied by “negative prices” – people were effectively being paid to use electricity.

About the author

Bethan, though born and raised in Sydney, is also a British Citizen, and lived in London for 13 months. She is currently studying Journalism and International Studies at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. In her spare time you’ll find her playing with her dogs and cats, or looking at animal memes.

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