Germany Fast-Tracking Renewables As Russian Stops Gas Imports

National Economy

The population of the Federal Republic of Germany is approximately 84.64 million people[1]. In 2021, 100% of the people in this West European country had access to electricity[2].

In 2022, Germany’s economy was ranked 4th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on the export of cars, packaged medicaments, vehicle parts, vaccines, planes, helicopters, spacecraft, and centrifuges.

Environmental Policies

In 2009, Germany as a member of the European Union (EU) committed to the Renewable Energy Directive,” which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.

In 2011, Germany closed eight nuclear power plants. The country’s last two nuclear power plants, Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 were scheduled to close by year-end 2022.

In 2016, Germany as a member of the EU signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”[5]. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2018, Germany granted permits to the Russian energy company, Gazprom to increase the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline capacity into the country by 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas).

In 2021, utilities[6] used renewable energy (40.3%), coal (29.4%), natural gas (14.8%), nuclear (11.9%), and oil (3.6%) to generate electricity in Germany. Wind, solar, and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Germany.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, and South Korea the placing embargos on Russian exports. As a result, the price for crude oil and natural increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

On August 30, 2022, Russian energy company, Gazprom halted natural gas exports to Germany[7] for refusing to pay in the official Russian currency, rouble.

On September 5, 2022, Germany announced that the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 nuclear power plants would not be closed in 2022, as previously planned to ensure adequate power to the nation’s electric power grid.

Recent renewable energy projects in Germany include:

  • 650 MW Solar Project – German company Moveon Energy GmbH is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 100 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Berlin. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by June 2023.
  • 250 MW Energy Storage Project – In October 2022, German power company, TransnetBW announced plans to develop an energy storage project at a site approximately 250 miles southwest of Berlin. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 220 MW Energy Storage Project – In November 2022, German power company, RWE announced plans to develop two energy storage projects at sites approximately 250 miles west of Berlin. The projects are scheduled to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 200 MW Offshore Wind Project – In June 2020, German power company, Trianel GmbH commissioned the Borkum West II Offshore Wind Farm, which is located approximately 28 miles off the northern coast of Borkum Island.
  • 200 MW Power-To-Heat Project – Swedish energy company, Vattenfallis continuing work on a power to heat plant in Berlin. The project is forecast to be commissioned by April 2023.
  • 187 MW Solar Project – In December 2020, German utility, EnBW commissioned a solar project, which is located near the German capital, Berlin.
  • 170 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, German company, JP Joule and People’s Republic of China company, Trina Solar commissioned a solar project at a on a former lignite mine approximately 25 miles west of Berlin.
  • 120 MW Solar Project – In September 2021, German solar company, Anumar commissioned the Schornhof solar project at a site approximately 350 miles south-southwest of Berlin.
  • 112 MW Offshore Wind Project – In January 2020, EnBW commissioned the Albatross Offshore Wind Farm, which is located approximately 65 miles off the German coast.
  • 21 MW Floating Solar Project – German companies, Leag and EP New Energies are continuing work on a floating solar project on a lake approximately 75 miles southeast of Berlin.
  • 4.1 MW Agrivoltaic Project – In October 2020, German solar developer, Next2Sun commissioned an agrivoltaic project with an apiary and solar panels at a site in the southern Germany.

Conclusions

Germany imports the vast majority of the nation’s coal, oil, and natural gas for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2020, Germany imported[8] U.S. $6.38 Billion in crude oil, U.S. $2.22 Billion in refined petroleum, and U.S. $864 Million in coal.

In 2021, Germany used fossil fuels to generate 47.8% of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Germany imported 55% of its natural gas[9] and 35% of its oil[10] from Russia.

Germany has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, and biomass. Germany is now fast-tracking reliable, renewable energy projects to offset the loss of Russian natural gas imports.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Germany Population (2023) – January 19, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Germany

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Germany

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Germany: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] New York Times, “Russia Halts Natural Gas Flows to Germany Again” by Stanley Reed, August 30, 2022

[8] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Germany/Russia Trade

[9] “Germany Takes New Steps To Tackle The Energy Crisis” by Reuters, August 24, 2022

[10] “Putin’s War & European Energy Security: A German Perspective on Decoupling From Russian Fossil Fuels, by Brookings, June 7, 2022

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