Very recently, the European Union agreed to require all member nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Now, Germany’s conservative government, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, has issued an important discussion paper proposing to implement strict controls on coal-fired electricity generation, and to redesign the heavily industrialzed nation’s energy system around renewable energy, Renew Economy has reported.
If implemented, the new controls on coal-fired power generation would be the strictest in Europe. Germany was one of the main nations pushing to implement the European target of at least 40% emissions cuts mentioned above.
Germany is planning for over 60% of its power supply to come from renewables within 20 years and, due to popular demand, is planning to phase out nuclear power by 2022. It’s looking to source almost 50% of electricity from renewables within 10 years.
Germany currently has an big overcapacity in its electricity generating system, so the government sees an opportunity to cut some fossil fuel-based power generation to help meet the increased new European emissions targets. The biggest power utilities have already committed to not developing any new coal plants, and to concentrate on the development of renewables and energy storage instead – so this would be an added measure.
Presently, Germany generates about 45% of its electricity from coal, 11% from gas, 15% from nuclear, and 24% from renewables. This country of 80 million people is currently at the international forefront of the movement to transition to renewable energy. If planning continues the way it has been going, notably, even with a conservative government, it could well stay at the forefront.