13 Dec 2022, 13:31
Carolina Kyllmann

Need for supply security drives acceptance of renewables in Germany – survey

Clean Energy Wire

A need for energy supply security has increased acceptance in the German population towards the expansion of renewables, a survey by the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE) found. According to the annual ‘Acceptance Survey,' 85 percent of the population are in favour of ramping up renewables, an increase of two percentage points compared to 2021, especially against the backdrop of energy supply security and dependencies on autocratic states and inflation. “The population's approval of renewable energy and the energy transition is very high,” AEE head Robert Brandt said. “Their potential is far from exhausted and, especially against the background of rising energy prices, their rapid expansion is essential.”

The approval rates of renewable projects near peoples' homes increased for all systems; with ground- and roof-mounted solar PV installations, as well as wind turbines having the highest acceptance rates. Sixty-five percent of respondents were in favour of solar parks (2021: 59%), 80 percent of solar roofs (77%), 50 percent of wind energy plants (39%) and 40 percent of geothermal plants (30%). Additionally, 14 percent of respondents said that, despite their reservations, they would rather accept renewable energy systems on their doorstep than getting energy from geopolitically difficult countries. Moreover, 20 percent said that while they were "not a fan" of wind energy before Russia’s war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis, they now believe it should be expanded. “Germany's previous dependence on autocratic states has focused attention on domestically available energies,” AEE said. The results “make it clear that the population is behind the expansion of renewable energy and recognises its importance, especially against the backdrop of the current energy policy situation and the climate protection goals.”

Germany is set to produce a record 256 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity from renewable sources this year, accounting for 46 percent of German power consumption in 2022, a forecast by Federal Environment Agency (UBA) found. According to the agency, the amount is still insufficient to put the country on track towards its 2030 targets, which would see 80 percent of total power consumption covered with renewable sources.

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