Paul R. Gregory's writings on Russia, the world economy, and other matters that he finds of interest.
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Friday, March 31, 2017
100% Renewables by 2050 -- Germany Pays the Price for its Ambition
Germany has set the most ambitious agenda for renewable energy. According to Germany’s Enegiewende program, the share of renewables in electricity generation should reach 45 percent by 2030 and 100% by half century. Complicating matters is Germany’s Atomstop decision to close down its nuclear power plants under pressure from the powerful Green movement. The Atomstop agreement calls for substantial payments by electrical utilities into a special fund for storing nuclear waste.
Germany’s mechanism for achieving its ambitious renewable-energy goals is not direct subsidies but the requirement that its utilities must take wind and solar energy first into the power grid.
With wind and solar energy costing multiples more than conventional energy, their increasing share will continue to raise Germany’s wholesale electricity prices above those in other countries with less ambitious renewable energy policies. (See Figure for 2016 price comparisons).