A faster deployment of more renewable installations that run into less problems with citizens and are able to quickly survive in the market without government support are at the centre of a renewables law reform proposal by Germany’s government. The country wants to increase its current share of about 50 percent renewable power to 65 percent by 2030 – a target that some say is already outdated if greenhouse-gas neutrality is really on the horizon for 2050.
Germany will increase the renewable energy capacity added each year to ensure that the country is on track for greenhouse gas neutrality by the middle of the century as well as the 2030 target, the draft reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) states. The document, seen by Clean Energy Wire, also provides new financing options for old solar PV units which could otherwise cease to operate after their 20-year funding runs out. Industry associations warned that the current renewables growth path is not aligned with increased power consumption in the future and a tougher EU climate target.
Germany’s renewables legislation which came into effect 20 years ago is responsible for the significant growth in onshore wind, solar PV and biogas by guaranteeing generous feed-in tariffs. However, renewables expansion in Germany has slowed recently, and – starting in 2021 and throughout the 2020s – many of the country’s pioneer wind turbines, solar PV installations and biogas plants will stop receiving fixed feed-in tariffs, meaning many gigawatt in renewable capacity may be shut down if they can’t find a new business model to run on. This potential loss of renewable power capacity comes at a decisive time for Germany’s energy transition, as the country plans to increase the share of renewables in power consumption in order to reach its emission reduction targets and to gradually increase the use of electricity in all sectors. The federal cabinet is currently scheduled to adopt a major EEG reform on 23 September, according to planning seen by Clean Energy Wire.