Dan Shugar

Shug Speaks

Germany Leading the EU in Taking on Renewables

January 25, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Fotolis/Reinhard Tiburzy and pv magazine

Great news comes from Europe as Germany moves forward with a definitive plan to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change – on top of another mandate of closing all its nuclear power plants by 2022. Twelve of the 19 nuclear plants have been closed so far, and 12 GW of the total 43 GW of coal are scheduled to be shut down by 2022.

This plan from one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal dramatically moves the needle in global reductions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide to our shared environment and perhaps more importantly, sets a gold standard as an economic powerhouse establishing a vision for a practical and affordable path forward for modern grids.

Signaling its focus on addressing climate change, Europe’s largest country, which has depended heavily on traditional energy sources like coal, will be turning to renewable energy to provide 65% to 80% of the country’s power by 2040. In 2018, renewables passed coal to encompass 41% of Germany’s energy mix as the leading source of power generation.

Germany deserves leadership recognition for catalyzing the global renewable energy movement. Fifteen years ago, when solar was expensive, policy support through FiTs enabled a thriving solar market, and in a prior company with great leaders including Marco Miller, Tom Dinwoodie and Howard Wenger, we built the world’s first 10 MW PV project. Completed in 2004, Bavaria Solar 1, which deployed single-axis tracker technology in Southern Germany, was the world’s largest photovoltaic plant at the time of its official opening in 2005.

Bavaria Solar 1, 10 MW. Muehlhausen, Guenching and Minihof, Bavaria, Germany. Photo Courtesy of Renewable Technology

 

That project took us a year to complete.  Last year, NEXTracker manufactured and shipped more than that every DAY. It’s incredible how far we have come, Let’s #ImagineWhatsNEXT together.

See my post on LinkedIn for discussion on this historic moment, EVs dominating autobahns and more here.

Shug