Germany could derive all of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050 and become the world’s first major industrial nation to kick the fossil-fuel habit, the country’s Federal Environment Agency said on Thursday.
The country already gets 16 per cent of its electricity from wind, solar and other renewable sources — three times’ higher than the level it had achieved 15 years ago.
“A complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 is possible from a technical and ecological point of view,” said Jochen Flasbarth, president of the Federal Environment Agency. “It’s a very realistic target based on technology that already exists — it’s not a pie-in-the-sky prediction,” he said.
Thanks to its Renewable Energy Act, Germany is the world leader in photovoltaics: it expects to add more than 5,000 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity this year to reach a total of 14,000 megawatts. It is also the second-biggest wind-power producer after the United States. Some 300,000 renewable energy jobs have been created in Germany in the last decade. The government has set goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020, and by 80-85 per cent by 2050.