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19 Jun 2019, 12:01
Julian Wettengel

Massive renewables expansion needed, says energy industry

Clean Energy Wire / Handelsblatt

Germany has to massively expand wind and solar electricity to reach the government coalition’s goal of a 65 percent renewables share in power consumption by 2030, said energy industry lobby BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries). From January to April 2019, the share was 44.6 percent, and for all of 2018 38 percent. Current planning based on the 2017 Renewable Energy Act (EEG) reform is insufficient. The country has to almost double its current renewable electricity capacity to between 215 and 237 gigawatt (GW). The BDEW has calculated two exemplary expansion scenarios, both of which see mostly added capacity in solar power, but even the capacity of increasingly contested onshore wind power has to increase by more than a third. In light of growing resistance to onshore wind turbines, land use restrictions for solar power and offshore wind in particular have to be reduced, says the BDEW. Germany has to get rid of the 10 megawatt (MW) limit for open field solar photovoltaic (PV) parks, a 15 GW limit for offshore wind by 2030 and the 52 GW limit for PV installations not supported by the EEG, said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.
In an article in Handelsblatt, Klaus Stratmann writes that federal environment minister Svenja Schulze has also made recommendations on how the government could accelerate renewables expansion, including abandoning the 52 GW limit for solar PV installations and letting neighbouring communities share in the profit from wind parks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government decided in the 2018 coalition agreement to raise Germany’s renewables target to 65 percent of power consumption by 2030 – provided that the grid’s carrying capacity is sufficient – in an effort to help reach greenhouse gas emission goals. Expansion has slowed in recent years and the grand coalition has set up a parliamentary working group tasked with developing measures to ensure Germany can achieve the 2030 goal. The parliamentarians are especially concerned about securing acceptance from the public for new renewables installations. The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) also recently called for necessary regulatory reforms to enable Germany to reach the 2030 target.

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