Germany made considerable progress in expanding renewables in 2017, yet failed to do enough overall for climate protection. This is the key takeaway of our 2017 annual review of Germany’s energy transition.
To be sure, significant progress has been achieved: Germany has continued to expand its share of renewables while also making strides in phasing out nuclear and coal power. Renewables now account for 36.1% of gross electricity consumption – a new record high. Furthermore, for the first time wind energy has overtaken both nuclear and coal in terms of power generation volumes. As several coal power plants were shut down in 2017 and gas-fired plants have become more competitive, carbon emissions from the power sector sank for the forth consecutive year.
However, these positive trends are offset by negative developments: primary energy consumption and power demand are once again on the rise. Moreover, consumption of gasoline, diesel, and natural gas has increased. These factors, in tandem a continued reliance on coal-fired generation, mean that Germany failed to sink overall emissions for the third year in row. It is thus extremely unlikely that Germany will meet its energy efficiency and climate protection goals for 2020.
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