Europe’s biggest economy has signposted its intention to add a massive 5.2GW next year alone in green power capacity.
Tenders for Germany’s new onshore wind and solar projects set for 2022 in effect triple the expansion previously envisaged. Desired targets for new PV next year will rise to 6GW, up from 1.9GW. New onshore wind will add a further 1.1GW to the 2.9GW previously planned.
Berlin has its eyes on 2030 as the deadline for powering Europe’s biggest electricity market 65% from renewable sources.
Auctions of rights to build green power plants will decide the build-out. Developers must from 2022 factor in cuts in the renewable energy levy, paid for out of users’ bills. Under Germany’s EEG renewable power laws, that subsidy will drop to 5 Euro cents per kWh from 2024, down from 6.5 Euro cents per kWh at present.
Should the tenders not be met by developers, Berlin last week announced it will roll-over the balance into 2023’s requirements.
At this September’s federal elections Angela Merkel will stand down after 12 years as Germany’s Chancellor. Little change is foreseen in energy policy when she leaves, thanks to the continuity of coalition governments favoured under Germany’s constitution, and its voting system of proportional representation.
Merkel will be remembered as implementer, if not architect, of the country’s ‘Energiewende’ or ‘energy transition’. It gathered pace in 2011 when, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Merkel announced a closure programme for Germany’s 22 nuclear power stations. Last to close will be Eon’s 1.4 GW Isar Ohu 2 plant in Bavaria; it is scheduled to stop spinning in December 2022.
Municipal green power is experiencing a revival in Germany. Last week the tiny Prussian community of Anklam announced its backing for a new 300 MWp solar PV park, hailed as Germany’s biggest. If built it will dwarf the 145 MW Neuhardenburg solar farm also in Prussia, a PV built on a former East German military airfield.
Clean energy plants controlled by citizens’ co-operatives are another mainstay of German’s energy scene. The DGRV body representing co-operatives calculates that around 40 % of all Germany’s solar assets are controlled by its 800 operating co-operatives or ‘EnergieGenossenschaften.