22 Nov 2023, 12:46
Jack McGovan

Germany only making tentative progress with energy transition – research

Clean Energy Wire

Although there are positive signs in the expansion of renewable energies, electric cars and heat pumps, new figures made available by the Ariadne project show progress in the German energy transition is slow. Of a total 47 key indicators determining whether Germany is heading towards climate neutrality - including the expansion of renewable energy, emissions figures and investments in cars - only 13 show that the country is on track. A further 16 mark some progress, but 18 indicators are moving far too slowly or even in the wrong direction, according to the tracker update. The figures come from the Ariadne Transformation Tracker, a tool funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and can be used to compare developments in the energy transition across Germany.

The heating and transport sectors were particularly highlighted as being off-track when it comes to meeting climate targets. In the first three quarters of 2023, almost 10 percent more combustion engine cars were sold compared to the same period last year, and sales figures for gas heating systems were up 30 percent in the first six months of the year. The expansion of photovoltaics, on the other hand, was on track at over 10 gigawatts in the first nine months of the year. “It often seems as if there is still plenty of time for the energy transition before the first milestone in 2030 and the climate neutrality target in 2045. But the course towards these targets has to be set today,” said Frederike Bartels, a researcher from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who contributed to the tool.

Recent analysis found that Germany ranks mid-table among European countries in terms of transitioning its energy market away from fossil fuels. Germany aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. It has set the interim targets of cutting emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and 88 percent by 2040. However, the country is off track to reaching its 2030 targets.

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