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Germany’s admirable record in promoting renewable energy, as it leaves nuclear behind.

The nuclear shenanigans aren’t enough to take away Germany’s crown as a climate-forward country. The politics that sped up the nuclear phaseout also created room for a renewables boom. Starting with the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, Germany’s energy policy, known as energiewende, created some of the most generous subsidies for solar power. ………..

 Germany moved ahead with a plan to shut off nearly 50 per cent of its nuclear power plants, with the rest scheduled to close by the end of 2022. Some asked how a climate-forward country could lay waste to a source of zero-carbon power, [zero carbon? not so] especially when there’s a shortage of it. Others
pointed out that Germany’s renewables investments are for naught if it has to fill up the nuclear quota using dirty coal. Outrageous, right?

Not so fast, says Nikos Tsafos, an energy and climate analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s very easy to solve climate change if I’m not politically constrained.” Any sensible climate plan
requires that clean energy replaces dirty sources quickly, while at the same time efficiency measures cut the demand for energy overall.

That, in theory, would result in a smooth decline in emissions as laid out in scientific models. Reality, however, is anything but smooth. The transition will inevitably be shaped by human particularities.

The nuclear shenanigans aren’t enough to take away Germany’s crown as a climate-forward country. The politics that sped up the nuclear phaseout also created room for a renewables boom. Starting with the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, Germany’s energy policy, known as energiewende, created some of the most generous subsidies for solar power. These came in the form of guaranteed prices (or feed-in tariffs) for generating solar power. German taxpayers paid billions of euros to support a new technology. The demand created giant solar companies, including many in China, that progressively made the technology cheaper (with additional support in the form of Chinese subsidies) and thus more accessible to the rest of the world.

 Financial Post 11th Jan 2022

https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/renewables/germany-quitting-nuclear-doesnt-doom-the-energy-transition

January 15, 2022 - Posted by | Germany, renewable

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