Germany maintains the same path it was on before the war in Ukraine

Having come to power only a few months ago, the new German coalition (the SPD, the Greens and the Liberals) has ceased to function. For in the meantime, it weakened the reach of the war in Ukraine at best, and at worst shattered part of the policies carried out across the Rhine for several decades. Including in the field of energy, while the massive dependence of the state on Russian hydrocarbons, which is necessary to make its economy work, appeared to everyone.

aware of ” urgency To get rid of it, the government does not, however, intend to make a major transformation. But it intends to accelerate the “Energiewende” strategy that has already started in the territory nearly twenty years ago, which consists in investing heavily in renewables by gradually leaving nuclear power, and then finally Fossil fuels. On Wednesday, the executive publicly confirmed its ambitious target, already presented at the end of last year, of reaching 80% of renewables in Germany’s electricity mix by 2030 – up from 65% previously. That’s nearly double the share of these low-carbon energy sources in less than a decade, given that number rose to 42% in 2021.

This is the biggest legislative change in energy policy in decades Thus, he received Minister of Economy and Climate Robert Habeck (Greenz) during a press conference in Berlin.

The public interest of renewable energies stipulated in the law

Concretely, the Executive is willing to give impetus to the installation of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels, in order to ensure “ energy independence “Germany. First, these will be considered in law as ” for the public interest “and service” Public Safety “, because ” Renewable energy is now a national security issue ‘, confirms the 500-page plan divided into six laws.

Climate: How Berlin intends to permanently phase out fossil fuels

In terms of production, volume orders globally remain the same as that given by Robert Habeck in January, since onshore wind turbines He will always have to occupy it in the long run 2% of the area from the country, compared to less than 1% currently available for this purpose. And that, by loosening some of the rules of stabilization, which many stifle ” bureaucracy Thus, it is possible to add 10 gigawatts per year, according to the text. So that about 115 gigawatts of wind capacity will be installed in Germany in 2030 », compared to 56.1 gigawatts Today.

As for thesolar energyit will be ” Mandatory for new commercial constructions”, and will become New private construction rule Concretely, expansion rates will be increased to a level of 22 GW per year, 4 times more than the current average, so that by 2030 approximately 215 GW of solar capacity can be installed in Germany (compared to 54 GW in 2021). In general, the Renewable Energy Sources Act will be completely revised so that renewable energies can be developed.” with the necessary dynamics “.

internal resistors

However, not everything was won. Because in addition to local resistance, there is an internal debate shaking the German environment party about the impact of the massive development of these infrastructures on the environment.

There are trade-offs between how fast the climate can go and how slow biodiversity protection can be […] The apparatus of the Green Party is divided into two main lines, the “fundamentalists” and the “pragmatists”. specified for exhibition In January, Thomas Pelerin Carlin, director of the Energy Center at the Jacques Delors Institute.

The shoe in particular discourages the creation of massive wind farms, which, for some, requires extensive studies in order to avoid the excessive mortality of birds and bats in particular, which the blades can collide with. Recognizing the divisions on the subject, at the beginning of the year Robert Habeck realized that these new formulations could stir up contention, and called for ” The largest number of cooperation “.

complementary fossil fuels

Above all, this plan raises the question of the true place fossil fuels will occupy in the future mix. Because while Chancellor Olaf Schultz (SPD) yesterday reiterated his opposition to delaying the phase-out of nuclear weapons to help reduce dependence on Russian resources, renewables may not be enough to stabilize the electricity system, at least in the short and medium term. In fact, unlike atoms and hydrocarbons, these low-carbon energy sources are intermittent on a day scale, and remain uncontrollable (energy is said to be controllable if they make it possible to provide electricity at low carbon without variation associated with meteorological or geographical conditions). The result: according to the German Federal Network Agency, depending on the months, days and hours, the electricity from which it currently comes can meet between 10% and 100% of the immediate energy needs of the territory.

Thus, even if the country has invested significantly in renewables – much more than France – which is reflected in its impressive progress in the electricity mix (from 7% in 2000 to 42% in 2021), the share of coal is still overlooked today. 25% versus 13% on average in the European Union.

Coal can benefit from war

The current international crisis could exacerbate this phenomenon. Indeed, while Germany seeks to get rid of Russian gas to produce its electrons, Chancellor Olaf Schultz confirmed at the end of last February that Berlin is seeking to create a reserve of necessary coal in addition to renewable energy sources. Hence the authorities can decide to increase the extraction of lignite in the territory, the most polluting fossil fuel ever.

Especially since a potential European ban on Russian coal, oil and gas could increase these risks – even if Germany risks derailing the process, given that the government still claims that it is impossible to pass the gas ” Currently Because if hydrocarbon supplies are cut off in order to make Vladimir Putin surrender, countries more dependent on them may be inclined to compensate for gas losses by buying more thermal coal, of which the global market is more flexible, in order to produce the electricity they need.

Construction of gas power plants

However, for the time being, Germany maintains at all costs its goal of getting out of the black rock. if possible By 2030. A commitment to build Modern gas-fired power plants, in order to cover the growing needs for electricity and energy over the next few years at competitive prices ’,” explained the CEO recently. However, these thermal power plants, if they pollute less than coal, still emit far more greenhouse gases than nuclear reactors.

To supply them, the state therefore intends to develop LNG terminals, these port infrastructures capable of receiving gas in liquid form, coming, for example, from the United States. Before, on a very distant horizon, whose contours remain obscure, to be able to rely on bio-methane from waste fermentation, or even on hydrogen produced by the electrolysis of water, thanks to bubble Renewable energy.

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