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30 Nov 2018, 15:10
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany’s government coalition wrangles over feasibility of 65 percent renewables goal for 2030

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s government coalition parties have locked horns over the envisaged 65 percent share of renewables in Germany’s gross power generation by 2030. During a debate in parliament ahead of a positive vote on several reforms in Germany’s energy law, Jens Köppen of the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group said while the goal was included in the government’s coalition treaty, it is not set in stone. “We still don’t have an answer regarding the synchronisation of grid capacity with renewables expansion,” Köppen said. Intermittent power production by renewable sources is still neglected in the planning and a “blind” support of renewables does not help to cover the so-called “Dunkelflaute,” periods of no sunshine and little wind that regularly occur in winter, he said. Köppen argued that Germany would have to erect another 30,000 wind turbines to get anywhere near the 65 percent-goal. “I can’t see where these should be built as we’re running out of space,” he said. Social Democrat (SPD) Bernd Westphal said the government remained committed to the renewables expansion goal. “There are certainly still things that need to be clarified,” Westphal said, citing a removal of the solar power expansion cap, greater support of wind power in less windy regions and the impending law on faster grid expansion as possible boosters for the 65 percent-goal. Fellow SPD-member Matthias Miersch added that repowering of older installations as well as greater flexibility and efficiency measures would also contribute to reaching the goal.
Oliver Krischer of the Green Party criticised both government parties for the changes made in Germany’s energy law, saying the fact that the 65 percent-goal was not explicitly mentioned in the law amendment “shows that you don’t believe in it yourself.” Krischer argued the new law would ensure that Germany not only misses its 2020 target, but also made the country’s 2030 climate targets unreachable.

See the CLEW factsheet Climate, transport and energy in Germany's coalition treaty for background.

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