Germany aims to speed up wind and solar energy projects, the economy ministry said on Monday, as the war in Ukraine underscores the need to reduce reliance on Russian gas.
The country, which uses gas to heat half of its households, also announced plans to ensure the country’s gas storage facilities are full at the beginning of winter, irrespective of operator interests, the ministry said.
Germany will target to have all its electricity provided by renewable energy sources by 2035, according to a new draft policy that speeds up the timeline for ending fossil fuel-powered generation before 2040.
Germany, the largest economy in Europe, said in a major shift of energy policy this weekend that it would draft a strategy to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, accelerate renewable energy capacity installment, and build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities.
“After all, the events of recent days and weeks have shown us that responsible, forward-looking energy policy is not just crucial for our economy and our climate. It is also crucial for our security. This means that the faster we make progress with the development of renewable energies, the better,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the German Parliament on Sunday.
According to a government draft paper obtained by Reuters on Monday, Germany will now aim at 100-percent renewables in electricity generation by 2035, compared to a previous goal of all-renewables “well before 2040.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine changed Germany’s policy, and Europe’s biggest economy will be looking now to fast-track the reduction of its dependence on Russian gas.
Unlike other countries in Europe, however, Germany plans to switch off all its remaining nuclear power generators by the end of 2022. The country has also said it would aim to phase out coal by 2030 – eight years ahead of earlier plans.
Per the government’s draft paper seen by Reuters, Germany will pass a new Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and looks to have wind and solar accounting for 80 percent of power generation by 2030.
By that year, Germany is expected to double its onshore wind power capacity to up to 110 gigawatts (GW), offshore wind capacity is seen jumping to 30 GW, and solar energy should surge more than threefold to 200 GW, according to the paper seen by Reuters.