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Germany Beats Renewable Energy Forecast

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Half of Germany’s energy consumption is expected to be from renewable energy as soon as 2022, much faster than the government’s forecast.

The boom in installations of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources is likely to exceed forecasts of 35% according to Stephan Kohler, who heads the government-affiliated agency overseeing Germany’s electricity grid.

“I think this is a realistic dimension,” Kohler said. “By then we can manage to integrate it in our electricity grid.”

After Japan’s nuclear disaster in 2011, Germany decided it needed to speed up phasing out nuclear power. At the time nuclear power accounted for approximately a quarter of the country’s electricity production, similar to Japan and the U.S. Since this initiative, renewable energies’ share has since risen from 17 percent to 25 percent, driven by subsidies and investment incentives that are mostly paid for by a tax on households’ electricity bills.

“Never has an industrialized nation tried to transform its electricity production in such a radical manner as we are currently doing it,” Kohler said.

“Given the current renewable energy expansion plans by Germany’s states, if all of them were implemented, we would reach a level of 63 to 64 percent by about 2025. In our opinion, that is not sustainable,” Kohler said at a briefing with foreign journalists in Berlin.

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