By Utkarsh Ruhela
In the first week of May 2017, Germany reported record-breaking statistics of its energy consumption mixture. About 85 percent of all the electricity consumed during the weekend was being produced from renewable sources, namely wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power. In May alone, Germany had reported that 40 percent of its energy requirements was being provided by renewables.
A wave of energy
In Germany, there is an energy transition taking place. The Energiewende (German for energy transition) is the transition to low carbon, environmentally sound, reliable, and affordable energy supply. These new systems will heavily rely on renewable sources. With the efforts of Energiewende, by 2050, Germany hopes to reach the 80 percent mark.
After the chemical explosions during the Japanese nuclear power plant disaster in 2011, Germany announced that it will phase out all its nuclear power plants by 2022. This was considered an economic folly by energy pundits. However, six years down the line, Germany has been able to pull off something of a miracle. Not only is Germany successfully phasing out nuclear power plants, it is creating enough energy from clean sources to fill the deficiency created.
The role of efficient policy-making
All this change is not an overnight success. German policy makers have had a huge contribution towards this much-needed reform. Extensive use of heating systems causes buildings to be the major consumer segment of electricity in Germany. One of the examples of exemplary policy making is the incentives given to the builders for shifting old buildings to new integrated energy systems. The new systems utilise solar energy to meet daily demand. German and European buildings are not only self-sufficient in energy production but are also able to create surplus energy.
Overcoming challenges with the German attitude
One of the major challenges for Energiewende is the replacement of the existing coal-based energy production by the solar and wind sources. Since the latter is fluctuating in nature and needs to to be stabilised and stored, there is a huge development in battery capacity and other technological advances in the field.
The German culture and outlook also help the matter. A study reports that 92 percent of Germans are willing to shell out an extra $20 per month for their electricity if it comes from cleaner sources and contributes to a safer planet.
Lessons for India and the world
As India also aims to reach the 40 percent clean energy mark by 2030, a strategic alliance with Germany could be fruitful. During Chancellor Angela Merkelís visit to India, Germany and India had formed a Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance. Germany has already committed to providing assistance of over 1 billion euros for Indiaís Green Energy Corridor and another billion worth assistance investment in solar energy.
As for the world, everyone needs another role model to look up to with the recent shenanigans from the U.S. administration. Germany might just be the role model the world needs to emulate in these surrealistic scenarios.
Featured Image Source: Unsplash
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