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The city of Munich in southern Germany plans have all its electricity produced from 100 percent renewable sources by 2025, but that plan has led to opposition much farther north—in Norway.
Munich, Germany’s third most populous city and one of the country’s most important economic hubs, set in 2009 the ambitious goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy supply by 2025.
However, Munich can’t produce on its own solar and wind power enough to generate all-renewables electricity supply for the city of more than 1.3 million residents. The state in which Munich is located, Bavaria, has imposed restrictions on new wind developments, further complicating Munich’s efforts to go all-green electricity by 2025. So the city’s utility has invested in wind projects abroad—in Norway, from where electricity will be exported to Germany.
However, the wind projects in Norway have stirred opposition from environmentalists, hikers, and an indigenous minority in Norway, because the wind farms are set up in sensitive areas, German news outlet Welt Online reports.
“Norway has only 12 percent wilderness left, and this area is shrinking,” Clean Energy Wire quoted Per Hanasand, chairman of the Norwegian hiking and trekking association, as telling Welt Online.
The wind farm developments in sensitive areas in Norway are even more controversial because all the electricity produced is exported, according to Welt Online.
Most of Norway’s electricity generation comes from hydropower, which had a 93.9-percent share of Norway’s electricity production in December 2018, according to the statistics office. The rest of Norway’s electricity generation came from wind power, 3.9 percent, and from thermal power, 2.2 percent.
Last month, Germany became the latest large European economy to lay out a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation, aimed at cutting carbon emissions. A government-appointed special commission at Europe’s largest economy proposed Germany to shut all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038. While Germany will mostly seek to replace coal capacity with renewables, the country’s suppliers of natural gas—including Norway—expect to benefit from the coal exit.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.