By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Germany is presently generating “one-third” of its total national electricity supply from renewable energy. This is in-line with the German’s Government current national “Energy Transition” programme (called “Energiewende”) which is guiding the process of overhauling Germany’s energy supply towards renewables and better energy efficiency.
The German Consul General, Dr. Stefan Traumann, who spoke with Oil and Gas Republic on a media chat at the German Embassy in Lagos, said that one third of its country’s electricity supply comes from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.
According to him, German’s energy sector centers on the goals set by the German government in the so called “energy transition” (Energiewende) which was initiated after the catastrophe in Fukushima.
“Fukushima was one thing to move away from the nuclear energy and also fossil fuels because of climate change. We are in the process of overhauling Germany’s energy supply, moving away from nuclear and fossil fuels towards renewables and better energy efficiency.
“Germany is not only increasing the share of green energy in its supply. We are also using energy more economically. Primary energy consumption has been cut significantly in recent years in Germany – by 7.6 percent 2008 and 2015,” Dr. Traumann said
While emphasizing on Energiewende, Dr. Traumann said, the success of Germany’s energy transition will depend on the ability to expand the country’s transmission grids and also local distribution grids. And, it must go hand in hand with efforts to step up demand-side management and to render conventional power plants more flexible. Introducing smart meters will also help the country digitize the energy transition to better balance supply and demand and to harness the potential for energy efficiency.
“We have achieved a lot. But we are still in a substantial discussion on transmission grids, because we are depending on Wind Power as one of our main sources of renewable energy, and, wind energy is available throughout the country but mostly nearby the sea in the north and many of Germany’s industrial clusters are located in the west, south west and south of the country.
“Therefore we have to extend the transmission grids and naturally there is a discussion about it first due to the environmental impact and second because nobody wants a big transmission line to be installed on his backyard. But, we will find solutions for this.
“Another big challenge is battery cell manufacturing not only for e-cars but also for the storage of energy. It is a factor especially for wind and solar energies because it is not available at the same level 24 hours, 7 days a week.
“For energy transition targets, 40-45 percent share of renewables to be reached in our power consumption by 2025. While, in 2022, the remaining nuclear power plants are to shut down. And, 40 percent amount by which greenhouse gas emissions are to be reached by 2020 (from 1990 levels),” Dr. Traumann added.