By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Germany is currently overhauling its energy supply towards renewable energy with a target to shut down the remaining nuclear power plant by 2022.
In an interview with our correspondent, the new Consul General of Germany in Lagos, Dr Stefan Traumann, said that Germany’s energy sector is centered by the goals set by the German government in the so called Energiewende which means Energy Transition, initiated after the catastrophe in Fukushima.
Dr Traumann said, “Now we are in the process of overhauling Germany’s energy supply, moving away from nuclear and fossil fuels towards renewables and better energy efficiency. Fukushima is one thing to move away from nuclear energy but also from the fossil fuels because of climate change and other related challenges.
“Over the last couple of years, we have already achieved quite a lot, almost one third of our electricity coming from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower. Renewable energy is a very important component of our electricity supply,” he added
According to him, Germany is not only increasing the share of green energy in its supply. “We are also using energy more efficiently and economically. Therefore, the primary energy consumption has been cut significantly in recent years in Germany by 7.6% between 2008 and 2015.”
While speaking about the success of the energy transition, Dr. Traumann said that the country will much depend on its ability to expand the large supra-regional transmission grids and also local distribution grids. This work to expand the grids 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 help 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 big discussion on transmission grids, very often in Germany, we are depending on Wind Power, and solar is not too much because of the weather conditions in Germany but wind is a big factor. And, wind energy is all over the country but mostly nearby the sea. The sea is a lot and many industrial centres are in the west, south west and south.
“We have to get more transmission grids and there is always a discussion about it due to the environmental issues as nobody wants this big transmission lines to be installed on his or her backyard and it is not easy but it has to be done. And, we will find solution for this challenge,” he said.
“Another big challenge is battery cell manufacturing not only for e-cars but also for solar for the storage of energy. It is a big factor especially for wind and solar because we don’t have available all the 24 hours, 7 days a week. So, we are looking to find ways for the storage of energy.”