Germany continues to struggle with renewable energyJune 7, 2013
Renewable energy finds traction in Germany
Germany has become an active hub for renewable energy, especially when it comes to the matter of solar power. The country’s interest in renewable energy is largely backed by a growing need to break away from nuclear energy. Germany has been working to move away from nuclear energy for several years, but its efforts did not find traction until the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, which is one of the worst nuclear disasters the world has seen thus far.
Clean power faces challenges throughout the country
There is a great deal of debate in Germany concerning the government’s efforts in the field of renewable energy. The country has managed to establish itself as one of the leading powers in terms of solar power due to its generous feed-in tariff initiatives that provided strong financial support to this sector. The country reduced this financial support, effectively halting the rapid growth solar energy had seen, but has been putting a great deal of support behind other forms of renewable energy. Despite the country’s focus on clean power, it is home to some of the highest energy prices in Europe, which has called into question the value of renewable energy as a whole.
Energiewende faced with economic and technological problems
Late last week, The International Energy Agency praised Germany’s Energiewende, the official name of the country’s transition toward renewable energy. This effort was initially launched in 2011 and sought to symbolize the country’s move away from fossil-fuels and nuclear energy. The initiative is set to ensure that Germany receives no less than 80% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. The transition toward renewable energy has, however, not been as easy as it sounds. The country is currently grappling with the economic and technological problems that have been highlighted by Energiewende.
Issues concerning economic and technology slow progression of renewable energy
Firstly, the transition toward renewable energy is an expensive endeavor. Renewable energy systems of all kinds require a significant financial investment, especially during the early stages of adoption. Secondly, Germany does not currently have the energy infrastructure capable of handling renewable energy on a large scale. Modernizing the country’s energy grid is another challenge that the German government faces that must be overcome before the country can effectively move away from conventional forms of energy.